Seek for Success: A Visualization Approach for Understanding the Dynamics of Academic Careers

Yifang Wang, Tai-Quan Peng, Huihua Lu, Haoren Wang, Xiao Xie, Huamin Qu, Yingcai Wu

View presentation:2021-10-27T15:00:00ZGMT-0600Change your timezone on the schedule page
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How to achieve career success is a long-standing research question that has been studied in various social science disciplines. With the increased availability of academic profiles such as researchers’ careers and scientific outputs, academic careers have become one of the prominent topics in the study of careers. This line of research has regained its prominence with the emergence of Science of Science in the age of computational social science. We use a visual analytics approach to explore the potential factors of academic career success and how their effects change at different stages of a research field.
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How to achieve academic career success has been a long-standing research question in social science research. With the growing availability of large-scale well-documented academic profiles and career trajectories, scholarly interest in career success has been reinvigorated, which has emerged to be an active research domain called the Science of Science (i.e., SciSci). In this study, we adopt an innovative dynamic perspective to examine how individual and social factors will influence career success over time. We propose ACSeeker, an interactive visual analytics approach to explore the potential factors of success and how the influence of multiple factors changes at different stages of academic careers. We first applied a Multi-factor Impact Analysis framework to estimate the effect of different factors on academic career success over time. We then developed a visual analytics system to understand the dynamic effects interactively. A novel timeline is designed to reveal and compare the factor impacts based on the whole population. A customized career line showing the individual career development is provided to allow a detailed inspection. To validate the effectiveness and usability of ACSeeker, we report two case studies and interviews with a social scientist and general researchers.