Universitat Politècnica de València, Nanophotonics Technology Center (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 3916-3922
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.1042
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Literature review in the educational environment is one of the most arduous tasks for students facing a scientific field or any other discipline for the first time. This is a common practice in the first step of teaching methodologies, as in flipped classrooms, problem-based learning, and case study approaches. Establishing relationships between research groups or identifying the most relevant papers can be a cumbersome deal of bibliographic research and dedication that often goes unrewarded. Technologies based on graph network visualizations could play a novel role as they offer information in a user-friendly and understandable way.

Nowadays, different applications involving research mapping are accessible via online navigators. These are open to use and offer a dynamic and accessible way to deep into a new field of studies through the link and relations between a pre-set of selected papers. Applications such as Connected Papers, Research Rabbit or Litmaps, among others fit into this definition. These tools allow the user to envision a cloud of spots where the most relevant contributions (i.e., those with a higher number of citations) appear as bigger nodes in the cloud, and how they are interrelated. Additionally, these websites offer the possibility to bundle and export network data described by graphs (nodes, edges, context) that can be later explored with machine learning techniques such as Graph neural networks (GNN) and Natural language processing (NLP). With these tools a multidimensional bibliometric analysis can be conducted based on historical data—publication date—, geospatial —author’s affiliations—, networking—co-author networks—, funding and research topic, etc. Such strategies offer a perfectly clear instant picture of the impact of certain research papers, research groups and co-author networks and communities within the field of study. Moreover new, emerging and consolidated research networks can be unveiled in this way.

In this contribution, we explore how these network visualization tools help doctoral and undergraduate students in real-world scenario for literature review. We propose using the applications above, compare them, and supervise the ease and difficulties that this method cause in the students. Finally, we evaluate the advantages that these literature mapping-based tools offer in a teaching environment.
Research methodologies, literature review, network, mapping, graphic resources, teaching methodologies.