Summary In the present study full-text analysis and traditional bibliometric methods are combined to improve the efficiency of the individual methods in the mapping of science. The methodology is applied to map research papers from a special issue of Scientometrics. The outcomes substantiate that such hybrid methodology can be applied to both research evaluation and information retrieval. The subject classification given by the guest-editors of the special issue is used for validation purposes. Because of the limited number of papers underlying the study the paper is considered a pilot study that will be extended in a later study on the basis of a larger corpus.