In this really cool article by Bollen et al. in PLoS ONE we get a map of the connections between disciplines by seeing how folks click through journals. As they put it:
Over the course of 2007 and 2008, we collected nearly 1 billion user interactions recorded by the scholarly web portals of some of the most significant publishers, aggregators and institutional consortia. The resulting reference data set covers a significant part of world-wide use of scholarly web portals in 2006, and provides a balanced coverage of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. A journal clickstream model, i.e. a first-order Markov chain, was extracted from the sequences of user interactions in the logs. The clickstream model was validated by comparing it to the Getty Research Institute’s Architecture and Art Thesaurus. The resulting model was visualized as a journal network that outlines the relationships between various scientific domains and clarifies the connection of the social sciences and humanities to the natural sciences.
I’m surprised how far sociology is from social work. But maybe that’s just because people often think I’m a social worker when I say I’m a sociologist. The article is cool, and the map is great.