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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 164; doi:10.3390/su10010164

An Investigation of the Underlying Evolution of Shale Gas Research’s Domain Based on the Co-Word Network

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300354, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 7 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 13 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
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With the increasing shortage energy, the exploration and utilization of shale gas (SG) have greatly changed the world’s natural gas supply pattern. In this study, based on a bibliometric review of the publications related to SG, by analyzing the co-word networks during the past years, we provide comprehensive analyses on the underlying domain evolution of shale gas research (SGR). Firstly, we visualize the topical development of SGR. We not only identify the key topics at each stage but also reveal their underlying dependence and evolutionary trends. The directions of SGR in the future are implied. Secondly, we find the co-word network has small-world and scale-free characteristics, which are the important mechanisms of driving the evolution of SGR’s domain. Thirdly, we analyze China’s SGR. We find the co-word network in China’s SGR has not yet emerged obvious differentiation. Nevertheless, it has a similar self-organized evolution process with the co-word network of international SGR. Our above results can provide references for the future SGR of scholars, optimization or control of the domain and the strategy/policy of countries or globalization. View Full-Text
Keywords: shale gas (SG); shale gas research (SGR); bibliometrics; co-word network; data mining shale gas (SG); shale gas research (SGR); bibliometrics; co-word network; data mining

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, W.; Liu, Y.; Xiao, S.; Zhang, Y.; Chai, L. An Investigation of the Underlying Evolution of Shale Gas Research’s Domain Based on the Co-Word Network. Sustainability 2018, 10, 164.

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