Identification and Evaluation of Main Research Themes for Earthquake Studies in Material and Energy Fields by Science Maps and Scientometric Methods

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor, Earthquake Research Center, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 M.Sc. Student, Earthquake Research Center, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Finding new research themes in any branch of science is vital for researchers, universities, research institutes, research sponsors, administrators and research policymakers. Powerful tools for this purpose are the well-defined science maps and keyword networks, as well as appropriate scientometric indices and diagrams. Interpreting such maps and diagrams will present an overall outlook of the research area, and the most important or challenging research topics of the field are revealed. Earthquake studies in two economically important fields of energy and material are visualized to identify new research topics with high commercial potentials. After research documents are retrieved from SCOPUS for 2010-2020, meta-dataset is used to present science maps and scientometric diagrams by use of VOSViewer and Biblometrix. They are then analyzed and interpreted qualitatively and quantitatively for three main tasks: Identification of the main research topics; Evaluation of the topics for research and commercial capacity; Determination of main research themes. The results of both qualitative and quantitative methods are well close to each other. Based on the results, four main research themes are characterized as up-to-date recent trends in Earthquake studies for both fields: nonlinear analyses, experimental modellings, different types of seismic assessment, and resilience. The results of the method are fruitful for research planning of associative earthquake institutes and researchers.


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