Comunicar 55: The Media Sphere. Controversies in Public Life

Vol. XXVI, n. 55, 2nd quarter, April 1 2018
E-ISSN: 1988-3293 / ISSN: 1134-3478


A science mapping analysis of ‘Communication’ WoS subject category (1980-2013)


Communication Research field has an extraordinary growth pattern, indeed bigger than other research fields. In order to extract knowledge from such amount, intelligent techniques are needed. In such a way, using bibliometric techniques, the evolution of the conceptual, social and intellectual aspects of this research field could be analysed, and hence, understood. Although the communication research field has been widely analysed using bibliometric techniques and science mapping tools, a conceptual analysis of the whole communication research field is still needed. Therefore, this article introduces the first science mapping analysis in the communication research field based on the Web of Science Subject Category "Communication," showing its conceptual structure and scientific evolution. SciMAT, a bibliometric science mapping software tool based on co-word analysis and h-index, is applied using a sample of 33.627 research documents from 1980 to 2013 published in 74 main communication journals indexed in the Journal Citation Reports of the Web of Science. The results show that research conducted in the communication research is concentrated on the following sixteen disconnected thematic areas: “children”, “psychological aspects”, “news”, “audience”, “surveys”, “advertising”, “health”, “relationship”, “gender”, “discourse”, “telephone communication”, “public relation”, “telecommunications”, “public opinion”, “activism” and “internet”. These areas have progressively disconnected among them, which drives to a Communication field relatively fragmented.

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