Coevolution of theoretical and applied research: a case study of graphene research by temporal and geographic analysis

Ai Linh Nguyen, Wenyuan Liu, Siew Ann Cheong

As a part of science of science (SciSci) research, the evolution of scientific disciplines has been attracting a great deal of attention recently. This kind of discipline level analysis not only give insights of one particular field but also shed light on general principles of scientific enterprise. In this paper we focus on graphene research, a fast growing field covers both theoretical and applied study. Using co-clustering method, we split graphene literature into two groups and confirm that one group is about theoretical research (T) and another corresponds to applied research (A). We analyze the proportion of T/A and found applied research becomes more and more popular after 2007. Geographical analysis demonstrated that countries have different preference in terms of T/A and they reacted differently to research trend. The interaction between two groups has been analyzed and shows that T extremely relies on T and A heavily relies on A, however the situation is very stable for T but changed markedly for A. No geographic difference is found for the interaction dynamics. Our results give a comprehensive picture of graphene research evolution and also provide a general framework which is able to analyze other disciplines.

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