Publication Networks

There is a wealth of data on academic publications, going back a hundred years or more, and this is now held electronically.  Some is freely available, some of the rest can be purchased.  There is great commercial interest in the analysis of this data too, as it represents an important output from academics and a marker of the research and innovation process. Bibliometrics is therefore an ideal area for the application of ideas from Complexity and Networks.

I am interested in this data at various levels. It poses interesting questions in terms of theoretical graph analysis. The data is used to look at the performance of researchers or research units such as Universities. Trying to improve these methods is an interesting theoretical problem with immediate practical and commercial applications. So any  new ideas can be tested and then applied in the real world. This data can be seen as the best documented footprint of innovation processes in the human society so there are broad and fascinating social science questions which might be studied.