Exploring emerging topics in social informatics: An online real-time tool for keyword co-occurrence analysis


In an academic field as diverse as Social Informatics, identifying current and emergent topics presents a significant challenge to individuals and institutions alike. Several approaches based on keyword assignment and visualizing co-occurrence networks have already been described with the goal of providing insight into topical and geographical clusters of publications, authors or institutions. This work identifies a few key challenges to the aforementioned methods and proposes an interdisciplinary approach based on qualitative text analysis to assign keywords to research institutions and quantitatively explore them by building interactive co-occurrence and research focus parallelship networks. The proposed technique is then applied to the field of Social Informatics by identifying more than a hundred organizations worldwide within that domain, coding them with keywords based on research group titles, online self-descriptions and affiliated publications, and creating an online tool to generate interactive co-occurrence, network neighbourhood and research focus parallelship visualizations.