, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 617–643 | Cite as

Two decades of information systems: a bibliometric review

  • Jiaying Liu
  • Jiahao Tian
  • Xiangjie Kong
  • Ivan Lee
  • Feng XiaEmail author


Information systems (IS) is a vital research area in both science and engineering, whose revolutions in terms of theories, techniques, and applications promote the evolution of human society. At the same time, the complexity and dynamics of IS raise the challenge for exploring the topic in detail. In this paper, we present a quantitative analysis on bibliographic dataset to reveal the evolution of information systems in 2 decades (1996–2015). We select 39,767 papers published in 8 top-tier journals and conferences between 1996 and 2015 and explore the anatomy from manifold. We find that IS is experiencing the sustainable growth phase in terms of increased productivity, impact, and collaboration. The field is benefited from collaborative, open-minded, and in-depth efforts evidenced from the growing number of co-authors per paper, the continual declining of self-citation rate, and increased reference age, respectively. By applying topic detection models on paper titles, abstracts, and keywords, we infer the representative topics and research directions, which can also reveal the research landscape within this field. Finally, we measure the temporal trends of topics and identify the innovative years in the 20 years’ development history of IS. These discoveries can benefit not only researchers in terms of promoting understanding of the entire field, but also governments for funding agencies.


Information systems Statistical analysis Data analytics Science of science 


Author's Contribution

JL, FX, IL, and XK designed the research; JT performed the experiments; XK and FX analyzed the data; JL and IL wrote the paper. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Ubiquitous Network and Service Software of Liaoning Province, School of SoftwareDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina
  2. 2.School of Information Technology and Mathematical SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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