Bibliographic Analysis of Operations Research Citation in the Environmental Domain

Bibliographic Analysis of Operations Research Citation in the Environmental Domain

Peter Keenan
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJDSST.2020040104
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This article uses bibliographic analysis techniques to examine the papers in the Web of Science database that have citation links to key operations research/management science (OR/MS) journals. The research identified the journals and papers in the environmental domains which cite these OR/MS journals and identify the key journals, papers, and themes. This research shows that environmental disciplines are becoming more important relative to the business and engineering domains that predominated in the previous years. However, much of the citation of OR/MS journals is for techniques like data envelopment analysis (DEA) which are used to conduct research rather than directly model environmental problems. Of the modelling techniques used to address problems in the environmental domains, MCDM methods are the most often cited, reflecting the importance of MCDM with the decision support systems (DSS) field. There are also significant numbers of applications relating to logistics and energy which cite OR/MS papers. Further research is needed to clarify the role of OR/MS techniques in the environmental sector, a domain outside the traditional areas of OR/MS application.
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With the introduction of computerised bibliographic databases, scientometric techniques have developed to allow the examination of aggregate trends in academic publications. These techniques include the analysis of quantitative data such as publication counts or citation counts. Citations can be viewed as establishing links between citing authors, cited authors, citing texts, and cited texts and to allow the investigation of research communities (Leydesdorff, 1998). The use of scientometric techniques has greatly increased in recent years owing to the increased availability of bibliographic databases, the introduction of new software to visualise and analyse bibliographic data (Bankar & Lihitkar, 2019) and the improved capacity of modern desktop computers to analyse large datasets. Bibliographic methods have been used both in Operations Research/Management Science (OR/MS) generally (Liao et al., 2018) in environmental applications (Maditati et al., 2018) and in areas such as green and sustainable supply chains which span both (Amirbagheri et al., 2019) (Muñoz-Villamizara et al., 2019).

One of the most comprehensive bibliographic databases is the Web of Science (WOS) maintained by Clarivate Analytics (previously Thomson Reuters), formerly known as the Web of Knowledge. This database records articles from 1898 to the present drawn from a wide range of disciplines and identifies the publications cited by those articles. WOS has close to 150 million records from 33,000 journals, with several billion cited references in the database (, with various collaborators (Leydesdorff & Rafols, 2012), (Leydesdorff, Carley, & Rafols, 2013). This approach visually maps all scientific disciplines by reference to their citing patterns, allowing the visual plotting of disciplines on the same background map. These researchers have provided several plots of the entire structure of the WOS (Leydesdorff & Rafols, 2009) (Leydesdorff & Rafols, 2012) and the different clustering and layout of these reflect the changes in the composition of the WOS database and changes over time in citing patterns. We previously used these approaches to examine the changing disciplinary nature of Decision Support Systems (DSS) (Keenan, 2016). This analysis showed that environmental DSS applications were growing in importance, in this research we look at the role of OR/MS in the environmental domain.

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