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Comprehensive Study of Evolution of Global Environmental Quality Research Using Informetric Co-Word Network

Z. La1 and L. H. Chai1*

  1. School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300354, China

*Corresponding author. Tel.: 86-22-87402072; fax: 86-22-87402076. E-mail address: (L. H. Chai).


Global environmental quality is a rapidly developing and complicated subject in need of a new method for evolutionary analyses. This paper proposes an informetric dynamic co-word network to study the evolution of global environmental quality research (GEQR), making a significant contribution to the available literature. First, it was observed that GEQR has been vigorously developing and hotspots have emerged through a self-organized adjustment process, which other methods lacked. Second, small-world and scale-free effects, which are mechanisms of an evolving knowledge system (KS), were identified in GEQR’s KS. Third, the dynamic co-word network yielded topological patterns and robust clustering in GEQR. An assessment strategy map/table of GEQR has been accordingly proposed as a mined innovative function of co-word networks, which provides new holistic understanding of global environmental quality. Thus, our studies on GEQR evolution using this informetric dynamic co-word network method may help researchers or managers learn GEQR development mechanisms, allowing for further topical selection and policy management of GEQR. Beyond GEQR, the informetric dynamic co-word network method may also provide a new universal method for evolutionary analysis of many other environmental problems.

Keywords: Global environmental quality research (GEQR), informetric, dynamic co-word network, complex network, environmental quality assessment

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