Mapping science through bibliometric triangulation: an experimental approach applied to water research

Bei Wen, Edwin Horlings, Marielle van der Zouwen, P.A.A. Van den Besselaar

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


The idea of constructing science maps based on bibliographic data has intrigued researchers for decades, and various techniques have been developed to map the structure of research disciplines. Most science mapping studies use a single method. However, as research fields have various properties, a valid map of a field should actually be composed of a set of maps derived from a series of investigations using different methods. That leads to the question what can be learned from a combination – triangulation – of these different science maps. In this paper, we propose a method for triangulation, using the example of water science. We combine three different mapping approaches: journal-journal citation relations (JJCR), shared author keywords (SAK), and title word-cited reference co-occurrence (TWRC). Our results demonstrate that triangulation of JJCR, SAK, and TWRC produces a more comprehensive picture than each method does individually. The outcomes from the three different approaches are associated with each other and can be systematically interpreted, and provide insights into the complex multidisciplinary structure of the field of water research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724
Number of pages738
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number68
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2017


  • hybrid mapping
  • methodological triangulation
  • science map
  • water research
  • scientometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping science through bibliometric triangulation: an experimental approach applied to water research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this