Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2016, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (4): 81-101.doi: 10.20309/jdis.201626

• Research Paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Topic Detection Based on Weak Tie Analysis: A Case Study of LIS Research

Ling Wei1,2,3, Haiyun Xu1, Zhenmeng Wang1,2, Kun Dong1,2, Chao Wang1,2, Shu Fang1   

  1. 1 Chengdu Documentation and Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China;
    2 University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3 School of Information Management, Shanxi University of Finance & Economics, Taiyuan 030006, China
  • Received:2016-05-30 Revised:2016-09-12 Online:2016-11-03 Published:2016-09-12
  • Supported by:
    This work is funded by the National Social Science Youth Project "Study on the Interdisciplinary Subject Identification and Prediction" (Grant No.:14CTQ033).

Abstract: Purpose: Based on the weak tie theory, this paper proposes a series of connection indicators of weak tie subnets and weak tie nodes to detect research topics, recognize their connections, and understand their evolution.
Design/methodology/approach: First, keywords are extracted from article titles and preprocessed. Second, high-frequency keywords are selected to generate weak tie co-occurrence networks. By removing the internal lines of clustered sub-topic networks, we focus on the analysis of weak tie subnets' composition and functions and the weak tie nodes' roles.
Findings: The research topics' clusters and themes changed yearly; the subnets clustered with technique-related and methodology-related topics have been the core, important subnets for years; while close subnets are highly independent, research topics are generally concentrated and most topics are application-related; the roles and functions of nodes and weak ties are diversified.
Research limitations: The parameter values are somewhat inconsistent; the weak tie subnets and nodes are classified based on empirical observations, and the conclusions are not verified or compared to other methods.
Practical implications: The research is valuable for detecting important research topics as well as their roles, interrelations, and evolution trends.
Originality/value: To contribute to the strength of weak tie theory, the research translates weak and strong ties concepts to co-occurrence strength, and analyzes weak ties' functions. Also, the research proposes a quantitative method to classify and measure the topics' clusters and nodes.

Key words: Research topics, Weak tie network, Weak tie theory, Weak tie nodes, Library and Information Science (LIS)