Mapping the Structure and Evolution of Electronic Publishing as a Research Field Using Co-Citation Analysis
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Electronic publishing can be defined as making full‐texts of journal articles and books available through the network. Although e‐publishing has been in existence for over 30 years in various forms such as CD‐ROMs, it owes much of its current level of development to the Internet and the Web. This paper attempts to chart the evolution of e‐publishing as a research field over the last 31 years using CiteSpace, an information visualization tool. It maps the intellectual structure of e‐publishing based on 493 articles that appeared in professional literature on the subject between 1979 and 2009. Document co‐ citation and author co‐citation patterns and patterns of noun phrases and keywords of papers on e‐publishing are visualized through a number of co‐ citation maps. Maps show the major research strands and hot topics in e‐ publishing such as “open access” and would improve our understanding of the e‐publishing as a research field.