[Sigmetrics] Climate Change Research in View of Bibliometrics

Robin Haunschild R.Haunschild at fkf.mpg.de
Mon Aug 1 03:45:49 EDT 2016

Dear Colleagues,

you might be interested in our bibliometric study on climate change
research which we present in this open access paper:

Climate Change Research in View of Bibliometrics

by Robin Haunschild, Lutz Bornmann, and Werner Marx

This bibliometric study of a large publication set dealing with research
on climate change aims at mapping the relevant literature from a
bibliometric perspective and presents a multitude of quantitative data:
(1) The growth of the overall publication output as well as (2) of some
major subfields, (3) the contributing journals and countries as well as
their citation impact, and (4) a title word analysis aiming to
illustrate the time evolution and relative importance of specific
research topics. The study is based on 222,060 papers (articles and
reviews only) published between 1980 and 2014. The total number of
papers shows a strong increase with a doubling every 5–6 years.
Continental biomass related research is the major subfield, closely
followed by climate modeling. Research dealing with adaptation,
mitigation, risks, and vulnerability of global warming is comparatively
small, but their share of papers increased exponentially since 2005.
Research on vulnerability and on adaptation published the largest
proportion of very important papers (in terms of citation impact).
Climate change research has become an issue also for disciplines beyond
the natural sciences. The categories Engineering and Social Sciences
show the strongest field-specific relative increase. The Journal of
Geophysical Research, the Journal of Climate, the Geophysical Research
Letters, and Climatic Change appear at the top positions in terms of the
total number of papers published. Research on climate change is
quantitatively dominated by the USA, followed by the UK, Germany, and
Canada. The citation-based indicators exhibit consistently that the UK
has produced the largest proportion of high impact papers compared to
the other countries (having published more than 10,000 papers). Also,
Switzerland, Denmark and also The Netherlands (with a publication output
between around 3,000 and 6,000 papers) perform top—the impact of their
contributions is on a high level. The title word analysis shows that the
term climate change comes forward with time. Furthermore, the term
impact arises and points to research dealing with the various effects of
climate change. The discussion of the question of human induced climate
change towards a clear fact (for the majority of the scientific
community) stimulated research on future pathways for adaptation and
mitigation. Finally, the term model and related terms prominently appear
independent of time, indicating the high relevance of climate modeling.

The paper is published by PLOS ONE and available here:

Feedback is greatly appreciated!
Dr. Robin Haunschild
Max Planck Institute
for Solid State Research
Heisenbergstr. 1
D-70569 Stuttgart (Germany)
phone: +49 (0) 711-689-1285
fax:   +49 (0) 711-689-1292
email: R.Haunschild at fkf.mpg.de

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