Visualize Scholarly Trends
This is a recipe to use textual visualization tools such as a Word cloud or visual Collocation tool to identify streams of thought, trends and potential avenues for scholarly investigation.
- Consider an area of potential scholarly interest;
- Collect a representative series of abstracts from existing scholarship ;
- Aggregate the text of these abstracts using a dedicated text aggregator or simply by using a text editor;
- Generate a word cloud from the aggregated abstracts using a tool such as Voyant Cirrus;
- Consider the word cloud identifying most common words and mentally constructing word groups;
- Generate a visual collocaton diagram using a tool such as Voyant Links;
- Explore particularly interesting words through the interactive diagram returned;
- Construct an avenue for further exploration from the identified trends, gaps and questions raised through visual examination.
- Finding Abstracts
Possible sources for electronic abstracts are listed on the Electronic Texts Panel of TAPoR.