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Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6576-6603; doi:10.3390/su6106576

Cyberspace Knowledge Gaps and Boundaries in Sustainability Science: Topics, Regions, Editorial Teams and Journals

1
School of Tourism and Geographical Sciences, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
2
Department of Geography, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
Received: 10 June 2014 / Revised: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Borderland Studies and Sustainability)
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Abstract

The scholarly world of sustainability science is one that is international and interdisciplinary, but is one, on close reading of research contributions, editoral teams, journal citations, and geographic coverage, that has much unevenness. The focus of this paper is on the cyberspace boundaries between and within fields and disciplines studying sustainability; these boundaries separate knowledge gaps or uneven patterns in sustainability scholarship. I use the volume of hyperlinks on Google Search Engine and Google Scholar to illustrate the nature and extent of the boundaries in cyberspace that exist and also the subject and geographic gaps in the home countries of sustainability journal editors and editorial board members of 69 journals, many which have appeared since 2000. The results reveal that knowledge boundaries are part of the current nature of sustainability scholarship and that, while there is global coverage in our knowledge of sustainability, as well as sustainability maps and photographs, we know much less about sustainability in countries of the Global South than the Global North. This unevenness extends to the dominance of North America, Europe, and China as leaders in what we know. English-speaking countries also tend to dominate both journal editors and editorial board members, even though countries in the Global South have representation. The volumes of hyperlinks for the sustainability journals associated with both databases are similar with major interdisciplinary journals having the largest numbers. As the field of international sustainability science continues to evolve, it bears observing whether the cyberspace knowledge or boundary gaps will narrow in what is recognized by most science and policy scientists as one of the most important transdisciplinary fields of study in the Global South and North. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyberspace knowledge boundaries; sustainability hyperlinks; journals and editors; journal rankings; cross-disciplinary networks; mapping sustainability cyberspace knowledge boundaries; sustainability hyperlinks; journals and editors; journal rankings; cross-disciplinary networks; mapping sustainability
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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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Brunn, S.D. Cyberspace Knowledge Gaps and Boundaries in Sustainability Science: Topics, Regions, Editorial Teams and Journals. Sustainability 2014, 6, 6576-6603.

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