Measuring scientific research in emerging nano-energy field

Research Paper


The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively explore scientific research profiles in the field of emerging nano-energy during 1991–2012 based on bibliometrics and social network analysis. We investigate the growth pattern of research output, and then carry out across countries/regions comparisons on research performances. Furthermore, we examine scientific collaboration across countries/regions by analyzing collaborative intensity and networks in 3- to 4-year intervals. Results indicate with an impressively exponential growth pattern of nano-energy articles, the world share of scientific “giants,” such as the USA, Germany, England, France and Japan, display decreasing research trends, especially in the USA. Emerging economies, including China, South Korea and India, exhibit a rise in terms of the world share, illustrating strong development momentum of these countries in nano-energy research. Strikingly, China displays a remarkable rise in scientific influence rivaling Germany, Japan, France, and England in the last few years. Finally, the scientific collaborative network in nano-energy research has expanded steadily. Although the USA and several major European countries play significantly roles on scientific collaboration, China and South Korea exert great influence on scientific collaboration in recent years. The findings imply that emerging economies can earn competitive advantages in some emerging fields by properly engaging a catch-up strategy.


Nano-energy Growth pattern Scientific influence Collaborative networks Cross-countries/regions comparison Survey 



This study is supported by a Grant from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71373254). The authors are very grateful for the valuable comments and suggestions from the anonymous reviewers. The authors also wish to thank the Editor of the Journal for his careful English corrections of the article, which significantly improved the readability of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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