Characterization of waste recycling (WR) research has to start by defining the scope of this scientific area. Previous works and expert assessment recommend the adoption of an inclusive definition, with the aim of including all relevant uses of waste within this study. An ad-hoc designed “capture” strategy has been used to retrieve WR-related peer-reviewed journal papers from selected databases, and the information contained in their author keyword field has been thoroughly cleaned. Author keyword co-occurrence data have been used for building a similarity measure between keywords, plus cluster analysis for revealing the main WR research being addressed by the scientific community. Results have been further analyzed using advanced visualization tools to determine which clusters formed strongly-linked research areas that could set the main cognitive divisions of WR science. This process has been repeated with 2002 and 2012 data, and science maps reflecting the main research areas and clusters have been generated. Results show that WR mainly deals with the recovery of basic, widely used raw materials like water and fertile soil. Energy generation and waste management are other relevant fields that show an interesting evolution, revealing signs of growth in research, together with the emergence of sub-areas reflecting consolidating research specialties.
Author(s): Gaizka Garechana, Rosa Rio-Belver, Ernesto Cilleruelo, and Jaso Larruscain Sarasola
Organization(s): University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU
Source: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology