Connections: STEM Educational Research Communities and Knowledge Transfer


This project examines Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Education (“STEM-ED”) and Cognitive & Learning Science (“CogSci”) research communities.

We study research literature “connections,” as evidenced by citations (cross-references), seeking to understand how knowledge is, or is not, transferred among these research communities. The interest is to then offer ideas on how to facilitate effective cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing.

The project uses longitudinal, cross-sectional, and comparative research designs and will generate empirical analyses of large samples of research literature. Original data are being collected by compiling STEM-ED and Cog-Sci research abstracts, mainly from established databases such as the Web of Science.

We will analyze literature citations — i.e., the referencing patterns of STEM-ED and Cog-Sci research publications – using text analysis software (VantagePoint) and general analytical desktop software (e.g., MS Excel). These will be aggregated into categories based on Web of Science Categories, tailored to distinguish STEM-ED and Cog-Sci research community knowledge diffusion patterns. Results will be presented using data visualization techniques, such as network analyses.

Prior projects upon which this project builds have generated findings that focus on much narrower data subsets. Those have keyed on publications supported by NSF-funded research in the ROLE and REESE programs, and their patterns of influence. Additional findings will be posted as they become available.


Alan Porter (PI), Search Technologies; Jan Youtie (Co-PI), Georgia Institute of Technology


NSF, Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL), Award #1348765 


Porter, A.L., Schoeneck, D.J., Roessner, D., and Garner, J. (2010). Practical research proposal and publication profiling, Research Evaluation, 19(1), 29-44.

Porter, A.L., Schoeneck, D.J., Solomon, G., Lakhani, H., and Dietz, J. (2013), Measuring and mapping interdisciplinarity: Research & evaluation on education in science & engineering (“REESE”) and STEM, American Education Research Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco.