Identification of new technologies and collaboration networks for earthquake seismology

Document Type : Research Article


1 Earthquake Research Center, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran. E-mail:

2 Corresponding Author, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Tehran, Iran. E-mail:

3 Earthquake Research Center, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran. E-mail:


Today, identifying new research trends in any scientific field is very important for researchers, universities and research institutes, research investors, industry, and scientific policymakers. Numerous studies have been conducted with scientometric approach in various branches of science (for example: Leydesdorff, 1987; Leydesdorff et al., 1994). Wegner and Leydesdorff (2003) examined the field of seismology in a study entitled "Seismology as a Dynamic and Distributed Field for Research" using the method of co-authorship and citation analysis between journals. The results of their study show that the scientific products of seismology are not different in terms of the degree of internationality compared to the older subject area of geophysics. Other studies in this field include the studies of Sagar et al. (2010), Wu et al. (2015), Amr (2018), Gizi and Putenza (2020) and He et al. (2021), which specifically examine a subfield of knowledge of Seismology (such as tsunamis, tectonic plates, studies related to a particular earthquake, or early earthquake-related warnings).
 The purpose of this study is to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the scientific products of Iran and the world in the Scopus citation database on the subject of Earthquake studies in the period 2019 to 2021. In this study, with the scientometric approach, VOSviewer software (Van Eck and Waltman, 2009, 2020) and co-occurrence analysis of keywords for scientific mapping and thematic exploring have been used.
The present study shows that the number of researchers in the field of earthquakes, reported in the Scopus database, is equal to 112262 articles, which after being limited to 2019 to 2021, this number reached 15270 articles. In addition, the growth trend of research in the field of applied seismology in earth sciences has followed an exponential growth pattern and has grown significantly in the last three years. China, the United States, Japan, and Italy are ranked first to fourth in the world in research and production of scientific articles and are still at the forefront in the field of earthquake science and knowledge. A study of Iran's scientific production in comparison with other countries in two different periods shows that Iran, in the period 2007-2009 was not on the list of top 15 countries in the field of earthquake research, but in the last three years, it has ranked ninth and has reached almost the same level as Germany. However, there has been no significant change in other top countries, despite slight shifts in rankings.
In addition, the number of articles by different research institutes in the field of earthquake knowledge in the period 2019-2021 is shown in Figure 6. As can be seen, most of the scientific output has been provided by Chinese research institutions, and several American and Asian universities have also contributed to producing earthquake knowledge in subsequent rankings. Most of the scientific products related to earthquakes in Iran are the results of research by researchers from the University of Tehran, the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), and the Sharif University of Technology as the first to third ranks.
The findings of this study are of great importance for directing suggestions and formulating technological research plans and projects to provide the ground for acquiring scientific authority of seismological knowledge in Asia. Therefore, the need to expand regional scientific cooperation in the policy-making of research institutes and researchers active in the field of earthquake sciences is inevitable to improve the scientific level of Iran among Asian and European countries.


Main Subjects

اسدی، م. و قادری سهی، ع. (1394). سی‌ونه سال تولید علم در حوزه‌ی ژئوفیزیک. م. فیزیک زمین و فضا، 41 (‌1)، 147-166.
اصنافی، ا. و پاکدامن نائینی، م. (1393). بررسی میزان همکاری‌های علمی پژوهشگران علوم زلزله‌شناسی و مهندسی زلزله در مجموعه همایش‌های بین‌المللی زلزله‌شناسی و مهندسی زلزله SEE طی سال‌های ۲۰۱۱-۱۹۹۱. فصلنامه آموزش مهندسی ایران، 16(64)، ۱۳۵-۱۵۰.
فلاح، م.، قربی، ع.، نوروزی، ع. و جعفری، ا. (1397). مطالعه‌ علم‌سنجی انتشارات علمی حوزه‌ی زلزله‌شناسی بر اساس وبگاه علوم. فصلنامه سیاست‌پژوهی علم، فناوری و نوآوری رهیافت، 28(72) ، 63 – 78.
Emmer, A. (2018). Geographies and scientometrics of research on natural hazards. Geosciences (Switzerland), 8(10), 1-16. doi: 10.3390/geosciences8100382.
Gizzi, F. T., & Potenza, M. R. (2020). The Scientific Landscape of November 23rd, 1980 Irpinia-Basilicata Earthquake: Taking Stock of (Almost) 40 Years of Studies. Geosciences, 10(12), 482. doi: 10.3390/geosciences10120482.
He, W., Liu, X., Qiu, J., Liu, J., Chen, J., & Zhang, C. (2021). Collaborative contribution networks and hotspot evolution in earthquake. Environmental Earth Sciences, 80(6), 1-14. doi:10.1007/s12665-020-09304-9.
Liu, X., Zhan, F. B., Hong, S., Niu, B., & Liu, Y. (2012). A bibliometric study of earthquake research: 1900-2010. Scientometrics, 92(3), 747-765.
Khajavi, R., Abouk, F., & Arastoopoor, Sh. (2020). Identification and Evaluation of Main Research Themes for Earthquake Studies in Material and Energy Fields by Science Maps and Scientometric Methods. Journal of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering, 22(2), 17-35.
Leydesdorff, L. (1987). Various methods for the mapping of science. Scientometrics, 11 (May), 295-324. Doi: 10.1007/BF02279351.
Leydesdorff, L., Cozzens, S., & Van den Besselaar, P. (1994). Tracking areas of strategic importance using scientometric journal mappings. Research Policy, 23(2), 217-229, doi:10.1016/0048-7333(94)90054-X.
Sagar, A., Kademani, B. S., Garg, R. G., & Kumar, V. (2010). Scientometric mapping of Tsunami publications: A citation based study. Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Science, 15(1), 23-40.
Van Eck, N., & Waltman, L. (2009). Software Survey: VOSviewer, a Computer Program for Bibliometric Mapping. Scientometrics, 84, 523-538.
Van Eck, N., & Waltman, L. (2020). VOSviewer Manual for VOSviewer Version 1.6.14. Leiden University Press: EZ Leiden, Netherlands.
Wagner, C., & Leydesdorff, L., (2003). Seismology as a dynamic, distributed area of scientific research. Scientometrics, 58 (1), 91-114
Wu, X., Chen, X., Zhan, F. B., & Hong, S. (2015). Global research trends in landslides during 1991 -2014: a bibliometric analysis. Landslides, 12(6), 1215-1226. doi: 10.1007/s10346-015-0624-z.