For a long time I have been interested in visualizing the network of all active academics of a certain discipline worldwide (e.g. computer science, mathematics, or by a set of keywords).

I imagine a typical zoomable map of the world, with discs on cities proportionnal to the number of folks working there in that field.

By active, let's say "people who have (pre-)published within the past 7 years, or doing a PhD in the area". So the input would be a list of authors taken from journals and preprint servers, plus the list of all current graduate students from university websites.

Would there be legal problems to create such a list? If no, does it already exist somewhere? If there are legal problems, would a fully anonymized list (e.g. just ranges of numbers: 0-4; 5-9;...) be okay?

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    No, that information is all public knowledge accessible to everybody in its disaggregated form. If, however, you seek to use information not immediately accessible to the public, you may find yourself in a legal dispute. Jun 28, 2020 at 17:15
  • Thank you, that's very interesting to know. I will search for legal-speak corresponding to this concept of "public knowledge accessible to everybody" (hopefully this will exist in most countries).
    – Archie
    Jun 28, 2020 at 17:57
  • In CS, you could have a look at the compilation by csrankings. While different from what you seek, it also uses publicly available data on publications from DBLP + community contributed data of researchers to create a collection connecting researchers, publications, and their universities.
    – GoodDeeds
    Jun 28, 2020 at 18:41


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