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Atlas of Science: Envisioning Scholarly Data

By Katy Borner

Indiana University



Published on


Cartographic maps have guided our explorations for centuries, allowing us to navigate the world. Science maps have the potential to guide our search for knowledge in the same way, allowing us to visualize scientific results. Science maps help us navigate, understand, and communicate the dynamic and changing structure of science and technology—help us make sense of the avalanche of data generated by scientific research today. Atlas of Science (, based on the popular exhibit, "Places & Spaces: Mapping Science" (, describes and displays successful mapping techniques. Not even the most brilliant minds can keep up with today's deluge of scientific results. Science maps show us the landscape of what we know.


Katy Borner is the Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science at the School of Library and Information Science, Adjunct Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Statistics in the College of Arts and Sciences, Core Faculty of Cognitive Science, Research Affiliate of the Biocomplexity Institute, Fellow of the Center for Research on Learning and Technology, Member of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory, and Founding Director of the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center at Indiana University. She is a curator of the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit

Her research focuses on the development of data analysis and visualization techniques for information access, understanding, and management. She is particularly interested in the study of the structure and evolution of scientific disciplines; the analysis and visualization of online activity; and the development of cyberinfrastructures for large scale scientific collaboration and computation.

She is the co-editor of the Springer book on ‘Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries’ and of a special issue of PNAS 101 (Suppl. 1) on 'Mapping Knowledge Domains' published in April 2004. She also co-edited a special issue on ‘Collaborative Information Visualization Environments’ in PRESENCE: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, MIT Press (Feb. 2005), ‘Information Visualization Interfaces for Retrieval and Analysis’ in the Journal of Digital Libraries (March 2005), and ‘Mapping Humanity’s Knowledge’ in Environment and Planning B (Sept 2007). Her new book ‘Atlas of Science: Guiding the Navigation and Management of Scholarly Knowledge’ published by MIT Press will become available in 2010.

She and her colleagues at the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center serve the:

Scholarly Database of 23 million scholarly records
Information Visualization Cyberinfrastructure
Network Workbench Tool and Community Wiki
Science of Science Cyberinfrastructure Portal
Epidemics Marketplace

She is the recipient of many fellowships and awards, including Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Pervasive Technology Laboratories Fellowship, SBC Fellow, NSF CAREER Award, and Trustees Teaching Award. She is currently PI or Co-PI in funded research: Collaborative Research: Social Networking Tools to Enable Collaboration in the Tobacco Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Evaluation Network (NSF), Modeling the Structure and Evolution of Scholarly Knowledge (James S. McDonnell Foundation), CAREER: Visualizing Knowledge Domains (NSF), Mapping Indiana's Intellectual Space (21st Century Grant), Network Workbench: A Large-Scale Network Analysis, Modeling and Visualization Toolkit for Biomedical, Social Science and Physics Research (NSF), Towards a Macroscope for Science Policy Decision Making (NSF), and Creative Metaphors to Stimulate New Approaches to Visualizing, Understanding, and Rethinking Large Repositories of Scholarly Data (NSF).
For more information on her research agenda, teaching, and other activities, visit: and

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Katy Borner (2011), "Atlas of Science: Envisioning Scholarly Data,"

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