Bibliometric analysis of leading countries in energy research

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Given our growing dependence on energy, it is relevant to examine how to define, measure, and assess energy research and development. This study discusses the use of bibliometric methods for examining the evolution of energy research at the world level and in leading countries. The originality of the proposed method lies in the use of a several-pronged approach to delineating the field: seeding a keyword set with the output of research organisations in the field, augmenting this dataset with specialized journals, papers selected on the grounds of number of references made to a basic dataset and papers selected on the basis of citations received from papers in that basic dataset. This strategy results in both high recall and high precision. Results show that scientific output in energy research has doubled since 1996. Among leading countries, China has demonstrated a stupendous growth rate, specialization in the field, and immense scientific output. In contrast, many English-speaking countries (with the exception of Canada, which performs above the world average) are not performing as strongly, and some of the traditionally well established countries in energy R&D (e.g., the US and Japan) are progressively losing ground.

This content has been updated on June 2nd, 2017 at 11 h 53 min.