Mining the astronomical literature - O'Reilly Radar

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-08-18

Summary:

Use the link to access the transcript of the interview and the infographics described in the following blog post: “There is a huge debate right now about making academic literature freely accessible and moving toward open access. But what would be possible if people stopped talking about it and just dug in and got on with it?  NASA’s Astrophysics Data System (ADS), hosted by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), has quietly been working away since the mid-’90s. Without much, if any, fanfare amongst the other disciplines, it has moved astronomers into a world where access to the literature is just a given. It’s something they don’t have to think about all that much.  The ADS service provides access to abstracts for virtually all of the astronomical literature. But it also provides access to the full text of more than half a million papers, going right back to the start of peer-reviewed journals in the 1800s. The service has links to online data archives, along with reference and citation information for each of the papers, and it’s all searchable and downloadable.  The existence of the ADS, along with the arXiv pre-print server, has meant that most astronomers haven’t seen the inside of a brick-built library since the late 1990s.  It also makes astronomy almost uniquely well placed for interesting data mining experiments, experiments that hint at what the rest of academia could do if they followed astronomy’s lead. The fact that the discipline’s literature has been scanned, archived, indexed and catalogued, and placed behind a RESTful API makes it a treasure trove, both for hypothesis generation and sociological research... It should perhaps come as little surprise that one of the more interesting projects to come out of a hack day held as part of this year’s .Astronomy meeting in Heidelberg was work by Robert Simpson, Karen Masters and Sarah Kendrew that focused on data mining the astronomical literature.  The team grabbed and processed the titles and abstracts of all the papers from the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A), and the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) since each of those journals started publication — and that’s 1827 in the case of MNRAS.   By the end of the day, they’d found some interesting results showing how various terms have trended over time. The results were similar to what’s found in Google Books’ Ngram Viewer.  After the meeting, however, Robert has taken his initial results and explored the astronomical literature and his new corpus of data on the literature. He’s explored various visualisations of the data, including word matrixes for related terms and for various astro-chemistry.  He’s also taken a look at authorship in astronomy and is starting to find some interesting trends.  You can see that single-author papers dominated for most of the 20th century. Around 1960, we see the decline begin, as two- and three-author papers begin to become a significant chunk of the whole. In 1978, author papers become more prevalent than single-author papers.  Here we see that people begin to outpace papers in the 1960s. This may reflect the fact that as we get more technical as a field, and more specialised, it takes more people to write the same number of papers, which is a sort of interesting result all by

Link:

http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/08/data-mining-the-literature.html

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » abernard102@gmail.com

Tags:

oa.new oa.data oa.gold oa.mining oa.comment oa.usa oa.green oa.libraries oa.open_science oa.events oa.search oa.repositories.disciplinary oa.arxiv oa.metadata oa.librarians oa.nasa oa.astronomy oa.citations oa.debates oa.google.books oa.data.visualization oa.ngram_viewer oa.ads oa.sao oa.journals oa.repositories

Date tagged:

08/18/2012, 08:32

Date published:

08/18/2012, 04:32