The citation network tells us how ideas are related; visual representations tell us how ideas are communicated. Figures from related groups, authors, and fields share a ‘DNA’ that can reveal how information is conveyed.
We adopt the term viziometrics to describe this line of research to convey the shared goals with bibliometrics and scientometrics. As with bibliometrics, viziometrics uses citations to measure impact, but focuses on relating impact to the patterns of figure use. We analyze theses patterns within the papers (specifically, the distribution of various figure types) in order to understand how they may be used to more effectively communicate ideas. We have two overarching goals . . . First, we seek to build new tools and services based on the visual information in the literature to help researchers find results more efficiently. . . . Second, can the patterns of figure use inform new best practices for scientific communication, especially outside of the authors’ own discipline?