Volume 8, Number 1 (1981)

The Breakup and Dispersion of a New Conceptual "Continent"

John A. Stewart
Department of Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Warren O. Hagstorm
Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Henry G. Small
Institute for Scientific Information, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Published 1981-04-04

How to Cite

Stewart, J. A., Hagstorm, W. O., & Small, H. G. (1981). The Breakup and Dispersion of a New Conceptual "Continent". Geoscience Canada, 8(1). Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/GC/article/view/3236


The recently developed technique of 'cocitation analysis' is used to examine intellectual developments in the geosciences from 1970 to 1975. The results for 1970 show a cluster of platetectonics articles that are often cited together, and a 'picture' of these articles and their interrelationships is presented as a series of interconnected hills - one hill for each article. Results for 1973 and 1975 indicate the rise of new clusters of articles associated with new research interests, e.g.,'hot spots', and the dispersion of the original cluster of plate tectonics as this theory was applied to other areas, e.g., continental geology. These results are presented so that geoscientists can assess the ability of this new technique to identify changing theoretical interests in science.