, Volume 120, Issue 3, pp 929–960 | Cite as

Mapping the literature on credit unions: a bibliometric investigation grounded in Scopus and Web of Science

  • Saulo Cardoso MaiaEmail author
  • Gideon Carvalho de Benedicto
  • José Willer do Prado
  • David Alastair Robb
  • Oscar Neto de Almeida Bispo
  • Mozar José de Brito


Credit unions play a relevant role in providing microcredit and other financial services. Because such financial cooperative organizations have drawn the attention of a significant and growing academic literature, a bibliometric study becomes essential. This study comprehensively analyzes the literature on credit unions using the leading indices for bibliometric examination: Elsevier’s Scopus and Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science databases. Our searches reveal a high level of complementarity between the databases concerning the subject. Their combined use has enabled us to extensively trace the evolution of studies on the subject regarding volume and impact. We identify the major countries, journals, authors, articles, intellectual basis and topics. Further, using CiteSpace, we have mapped the networks of co-authorship, co-citations, and co-keywords in credit union research. The findings allow us to conclude that economics and business finance are the principal areas of credit union research although articles in sociology and history were also observed. Finally, by investigating contemporary co-keywords clusters and future research directions, we identify four main avenues of research: economic performance, corporate governance, accounting and disclosure and, credit union to bank comparisons regarding customer relationships and technology.


Credit union Bibliometrics Intellectual base Research directions Financial inclusion 

JEL codes

E51 G23 P13 



This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UFLA – Universidade Federal de Lavras, Programa de Pós-Graduação em AdministraçãoLavrasBrazil
  2. 2.UQ Business SchoolThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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