Intellectual structure of Antarctic science: A 25-years analysis

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Abstract

To delineate the intellectual structure of Antarctic science, the research outputs on Antarctic science have been analyzed for a period of 25 years (1980–2004) through a set of scientometrics and network analysis techniques. The study is based on 10,942 records (research articles, letters, reviews, etc.), published in 961 journals/documents, and retrieved from the Science Citation Index (SCI) database. Over the years interest in Antarctic science has increased, as is evident from the growing number of ratified countries and research stations. During the period under study, the productivity has increased 3-times and there is a 13-fold increase in collaborative articles. Attempt has been made to identify important players like scientists, organizations and countries working in the field and to identify frontier areas of research that is being conducted in this continent. The highest 41% scientific output is contributed by the USA and the UK, followed by Australia and Germany. British Antarctic Survey (BAS), UK and Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar & Marine Research, Germany are the most productive institutes in Antarctic science. Maximum number of research articles on Antarctic science, have been published in the journal Polar Biology, indicating substantial work being done on the biology of this continent. The journals — Nature and Science — are the highly-cited journals in Antarctic science. The paper written by J. C. Farman et al., published in Nature in 1985, reporting depletion of ozone layer, is the most-cited article. Semantic relationships between cited documents were measured through co-citation analysis. J. C. Farman and S. Solomon are co-cited most frequently.

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