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COVID-19 and the emerging research trends in environmental studies: a bibliometric evaluation

  • Usman, Muhammad1
  • Ho, Yuh-Shan2
  • 1 Sultan Qaboos University,
  • 2 Asia University,
Published Article
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication Date
Feb 24, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-021-13098-z
PMID: 33625710
PMCID: PMC7903868
PubMed Central


The ongoing pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global health emergency. Thousands of articles have been published to tackle this crisis. Here, a bibliometric study of the publications in environmental studies has been conducted to identify the emerging research trends in this field in the era of COVID-19. Bibliometric analysis serves as a useful tool to evaluate research productivity and scholarly trends in a field. For this, publications were searched in nine environment-related subject categories indexed in Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED) database of the Web of Science Core Collection. A bibliometric evaluation of 495 relevant documents was performed to identify various essential research indicators, including the type of the publication, the most prominent journals, subject categories, authors, institutions, and the countries, that contributed significantly to this theme. Major focus of this bibliometric study is to illustrate the potential research hotspots emerged during this pandemic. It has been found that significant amount of research has been conducted for the assessment of environmental quality and its contribution in environmental transmission of COVID-19. In addition to its positive impacts on environment, COVID-19 has contributed indirectly in worsening many environmental threats such as increased exposure to disinfectants and antimicrobials, poor solid waste management, and food insecurity. Researchers have also been focusing on the strategies for the planning of post-COVID-19 cities and buildings and to protect the ecology. This bibliometric study allowed the visualization of research agenda in the field of environmental studies during this pandemic.

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