University Libraries Publications


Using Citation Analysis to Identify Research Fronts: A Case Study with the Internet of Things

Publication Title

Science & Technology Libraries

Publication Date


Document Type




citation analysis, data visualization, research fronts


Library and Information Science | Science and Technology Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


As the traditional role of academic subject librarian evolves to that of a partner in research and innovation, citation analysis and visualization studies are emerging as a valuable contribution to the process. Bibliometrics, or citation analysis, studies quantitative aspects of published information and allows researchers to analyze the dissemination of knowledge within research areas. An increased demand for these analyses is likely, particularly in support of technology commercialization initiatives. Using readily available open access tools, the authors review current techniques for identifying emerging research fronts and illustrate the process with step-by-step methodology. Subject librarians should be able to apply this technique in any research field. For the purposes of this study, citations were examined to identify research fronts in the emerging field of the “Internet of Things” (IoT).