The Social Network of Researchers on the Topic “Hunger”

The Social Network of Researchers on the Topic “Hunger”

Luis Saavedra Martinzez (Universidade de Sevilla, Spain), Francisco Espasandin Bustelo (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain) and Juan Domingo Ganaza-Vargas (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7888-8.ch014


The objective of this chapter is to describe the state of the social network of researchers who publish in scientific journals with the topic “hunger.” To do this, a search is made in the Isi Web of Knowledge database, and 514 documents are located. Using the authors who publish an article and the authors cited in the bibliography, the social network of researchers is designed, and later, by means of network analysis techniques, the main characteristics of the social network are analyzed. The results obtained show who the researchers are, the scientific journals, and the most relevant topics related to the topic “hunger.”
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Interest in the subject under study is due to different types of reasons: economic, social and academic. From the academic point of view, the interest of this topic lies in the lack of research on it, thus opening new lines of research for future work on the topic, since the main authors who publish works related to the term hunger are identified.

Figure 1.

Search term “hunger”

Source: Google trends

In the previous image we observe the growth of searches for the term “hunger” in google trends, which denotes a growth of interest on the subject. When we carried out the same search using the two research topics (ARS and “hunger”) we observed that no results were found, which allows us to conclude a weakness of the research under study.

From the social point of view, this issue interests us because hunger has become one of the biggest scourges of today's society, following Fontell & Luchsinger (2011) we observe that approximately 963 million people in the world can not meet their basic food needs, and one person dies every second, which in a year becomes 36 million people dead, it can also be said that 58% of deaths are related to hunger and malnutrition. Additionally Jara Navarro (2018) defends that hunger and malnutrition hinder the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) since, it has an impact on poverty, as well as having an impact on health, education and mortality and Hidalgo (2013) He says that the statistics show a difficulty in meeting the first goal of the MDGs, that is, halving the percentage of people suffering from hunger between 1990 and 2015.

From the economic point of view we observe Bartra (2008) who writes that the food crisis, associated with climate, energy and financial, is structural and marks the end of the great period of cheap food that we have lived due to to the green revolution. The FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) reports that probably only 10% of the volume of resources needed goes to nutrition programs.

We must also observe the possible cost of eradicating hunger in the world, According to the newspaper ABC in his article “¿Cuánto dinero se necesita para erradicar el hambre en el mundo?” (13/07/2015) “Eradicate hunger in a sustainable way by 2030 it will require about $ 267 billion annually more than average for investments in rural and urban areas and in social protection. ” In this line, the Los Angeles Times newspaper in the article “The Price of hunger” (06/23/2008) reports that; “The United Nations estimates that it would need at least $ 30 billion per year to solve the food crisis, mainly by increasing agricultural productivity in the developing world. During the decade that would bring sustainable improvements in the lifes of the millions of undernourished people, that amounts to 300 billion dollars”.

The aforementioned evidences allow us to reflect and observe the importance of this topic in today's society and that is why this research aims to achieve two general objectives: First, generate and share useful knowledge about the topic “hunger” and, in particular, about the state of the academic network of researchers on the topic, providing guidelines for scientific collaboration and the intellectual structures of scientific research and, secondly, to guide the academics interested in the topic we cover, proposing research strategies maximizing the efficiency in the selection of bibliographic references to read and in the choice of journals where research is published. It is, therefore, a cognitive, exploratory, bibliometric and cross-sectional research that is directed primarily to researchers interested in the subject matter of the same.

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