3.3 Raw Sum of Articles

Here is what it looks like if we just count how many articles are in each topic each year.

A plot showing the importance of all topics over time on a single graph, as measured by raw sum. The underlying data is in Table B.2. It is mostly a mess of dots that doesn't show very much, but what information can be gleaned by looking is described in the text below.

Figure 3.3: All ninety topics—raw sum of articles.

There are so many overlapping dots that it isn’t that helpful a graph. It’s a bit clearer when the topics are broken out.

The same data as above, but with each topic shown as a separate facet

Figure 3.4: The ninety topics—raw sum of articles (faceted).

Note a couple of things about this as compared to the graphs back in section 3.1. One is that the Y-axis is much higher. The raw count measure tends to amplify trends. Another is that the graphs are much noisier. There are still enough trends that I don’t think it would really help to add trend-lines, but there are a lot more graphs that look just like scattered points, especially over ten-to-twenty year patches. I think this is basically a flaw in the underlying measure being amplified.

The animation makes things a bit clearer here because the original features so many overlapping dots.