Can epidemic models describe the diffusion of topics across disciplines?
Istvan Z. Kiss,
Paul G. Craze and
Ismael Rafols ()
Journal of Informetrics, 2010, vol. 4, issue 1, 74-82
This paper introduces a new approach to describe the spread of research topics across disciplines using epidemic models. The approach is based on applying individual-based models from mathematical epidemiology to the diffusion of a research topic over a contact network that represents knowledge flows over the map of science—as obtained from citations between ISI Subject Categories. Using research publications on the protein class kinesin as a case study, we report a better fit between model and empirical data when using the citation-based contact network. Incubation periods on the order of 4–15.5 years support the view that, whilst research topics may grow very quickly, they face difficulties to overcome disciplinary boundaries.
Keywords: Knowledge diffusion; Epidemic model; Science map (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:infome:v:4:y:2010:i:1:p:74-82
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