Bibliometric and social network analysis in scientific research on precision agriculture

Aleixandre-Tudo, Jose Luis ; Castello-Cogollos, Lourdes ; Aleixandre, Jose Luis ; Aleixandre-Benavent, Rafael (2018)

CITATION: Aleixandre-Tudo, J. L., et al. 2018. Bibliometric and social network analysis in scientific research on precision agriculture. Current Science, 115(9):1653-1667, doi:10.18520/cs/v115/i9/1653-1667.

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Precision agriculture (PA) is used to improve agricultural processes. A better understanding of PA as well as the evolution of the research status through the available literature are reported and discussed in this study. The Web of Science (WoS) was used to obtain the research records under study. Indicators of scientific productivity, collaboration between countries and research impact were evaluated through a social network analysis. The keywords included in the publications and subject areas under which the research was published were also evaluated through subject analysis. A total of 2027 articles were analysed from 1994 to 2014. The most productive journals were ‘Computers and Electronics in Agriculture’ (n = 191) and ‘Precision Agriculture’ (n = 110). The most frequent keywords were ‘management’ (n = 243), ‘yield’ (n = 231), ‘soil’ (n = 198) and ‘variability’ (n = 190). The collaboration network showed the United States occupying a central position, in combination with some leading countries such as Brazil, Germany, People’s Republic of China, Canada, Australia and Spain. A steady increase in PA research was identified during the last decade, which was even more sharp between 2010 and 2014. The increased importance of PA research has recently led to the birth of specific journals such as Precision Agriculture. The increasing number of journals that publish articles related to the topics included in the WoS must also be considered. The network analysis identified a number of developed countries in the hotspot of international collaboration.

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