The ability to manage, distil and disseminate the significant amount of information that is available from published literature is fast becoming a core and critical skill across all research domains, including that of forensic science. In this study, a simplified scientometric approach has been applied to available literature on gunshot residue (GSR) as a test evidence type aiming to evaluate publication trends and explore the interconnectivity between authors. A total of 731 publications were retrieved using the search engine ‘Scopus’ and come from 1589 known authors, of whom 401 contributed to more than one research output on this subject. Out of the total number of publications, only 35 (4.8%) were found to be Open Access (OA). The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for years 2006 and 2016 reveals a much higher growth in publications relating to GSR (8.0%) than the benchmark annual growth rate of 3.9%. The distribution of a broad spectrum of keywords generated from the publications confirms a historical trend, in particular regarding the use of analytical techniques, in the study of gunshot residue. The results inform how relevant information extracted from a bibliometric search can be used to explore, analyse and define new research areas.
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