Main fields

The CWTS Brazilian Research Ranking 2014 provides statistics not only at the level of science as a whole but also at the level of the following seven broad fields of science:

  • Cognitive and health sciences
  • Earth and environmental sciences
  • Life sciences
  • Mathematics, computer science, and engineering
  • Medical sciences
  • Natural sciences
  • Social sciences

Share this page


Contact

The above fields have been defined using a unique bottom-up approach. Traditionally, fields are defined as sets of closely related journals. This approach is problematic especially in the case of multidisciplinary journals such as Nature, PLoS ONE, PNAS, and Science, which do not belong to one particular field. The seven broad fields of science listed above have been defined at the level of individual publications rather than at the journal level. Using a computer algorithm, each publication in the Web of Science database has been assigned to one of these seven fields. This has been done based on a large-scale analysis of hundreds of millions of citation relations between publications.

To get a more precise idea of the topics covered by each of the seven main fields, a VOSviewer term map has been created for each field. The term maps are shown below. Click on a map to explore the map using the VOSviewer software. The software requires Java version 6 or higher to be installed on your system.

Cognitive and health sciences
Cognitive sciences

Earth and environmental sciences
Earth and environmental sciences

Life sciences
Life sciences

Mathematics, computer science, and engineering
Mathematics, computer science, and engineering

Medical sciences
Medical sciences

Natural sciences
Natural sciences

Social sciences
Social sciences

The interpretation of a term map is as follows:

  • Each circle represents a term. Terms have been extracted from the titles and abstracts of the publications in a main field. Sometimes no label is shown for a term. This is done in order to avoid overlapping labels.
  • The size of a term reflects the number of publications in which the term occurs. Larger terms occur in more publications.
  • The distance between two terms reflects their relatedness. In general, the closer two terms are located to each other, the stronger their relatedness, as measured by the number of publications in which the terms occur together.
  • The horizontal and vertical axes have no special meaning. Rotating a map does not affect its interpretation.
  • Related terms have been grouped together into clusters. The color of a term indicates the cluster to which the term belongs. Clusters typically correspond with scientific fields.

Using the term maps, it can be seen that the seven main fields distinguished in the BRR differ from the traditional way in which the disciplinary structure of science is typically perceived. For instance, in the BRR, statistics is considered to be part of the Social sciences main field, not of Mathematics, computer science, and engineering. The Cognitive and health sciences main field includes the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and neurosciences and therefore covers both science and social science fields.