Hydrologic research generates large volumes of peer-reviewed literature across a number of evolving sub-topics. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for scientists and practitioners to synthesize this full body of literature. We explore topic modeling as a form of unsupervised learning applied to 42,154 article-abstracts from six high-impact (Impact Factor > 0.9) journals – Water Resources Research (WRR), Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS), Journal of Hydrology (JH), Hydrological Processes (HP), Hydrological Sciences Journal (HSJ), Journal of Hydrometeorology (JHM), to provide a high-level contextual analyses of hydrologic science literature since 1991. We used a hybrid objective-subjective approach to label a number of broad topics in this body of literature, and used these labeled topics to analyze topic trends, inter-topic relationships, and journal diversity. The methods and outcomes of this endeavor are potentially beneficial to scientists and researchers who aim to gain a contextual understanding of the existing state of hydrologic science literature. In the long term, we see topic modeling as a tool to help increase the efficiency of literature reviews, science communication, and science-informed policy and decision making regarding global hydrological systems.

Project Owner(s): 
Topic: Hydrology, Scientific Literature
Tool: WordPress
Methodology: Topic Modeling, Data Mining
Project Status: Active
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