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CiteSpace is a free Java application created by Chaomei Chen that users can download to visualize and analyze trends in scientific literature.[1] The primary source of input data for CiteSpace is the Web of Science, and CiteSpace also provides simple interfaces for obtaining data from PubMed, arXiv, ADS, and NSF Award Abstracts.[1] Search records from Derwent World Patents Index can also be visualized in CiteSpace.[2]


A user guide describes the following steps for visualizing information on CiteSpace:[2]

  • Collect Data - The primary source for data is Web of Science, and default input data format is ISI Export Format.
  • Create a Project - Consists of two directories: input data files and files generated by CiteSpace for analysis and visualization.
  • Adjust Parameters - Change time slicing, node types, term sources, term selection, links, pruning, and visualization options.
  • Generate Visualizations - Available visualizations include Cluster View, Time-Zone View, Show Networks by Time Slices, and Show Merged Networks.
  • Explore Visualizations
  • Generate Clusters - CiteSpace uses a spectral clustering algorithm to decompose a network, and the resultant clusters are mutually exclusive (one item to one cluster).[3]
  • Generate Cluster Labels - Labels can come from three sources: title terms, abstract terms, or index terms.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "CiteSpace." Drexel website, Accessed September 21, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 " User Guide." Drexel website, Accessed September 21, 2011.
  3. "Clustering." Drexel website, Accessed September 21, 2011.
  4. "Labeling." Drexel website, Accessed September 21, 2011.

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