Natural Hazards

, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 477–510 | Cite as

Exploring the science of resilience: critical review and bibliometric analysis

  • Xiaolong Xue
  • Liang Wang
  • Rebecca J. Yang
Review Article


The concept of resilience has experienced extraordinary development since the 1970s. Resilience is now an integral part of human society and has become a hot topic in different research domains. As an interdisciplinary discipline, resilience science is supported by multidisciplinary knowledge. Although research and practical work of resilience have been developed significantly, it is still unclear that how far resilience science has been progressed as a scientific discipline. In order to reveal the connotation and knowledge structure of resilience science, we systematically reviewed classic publications on resilience and compared its definitions and related research in different discipline domains. The evolution trend of resilience science was quantitatively analyzed to identify its knowledge foundation, geographic distribution, academic community, and collaboration structure. This analysis revealed the knowledge structure and development path of resilience science for future researchers. The results showed that the publications of resilience have been explosively increased since the 2000s. The developed countries made sound contributions to the research of resilience science, and China also presents a significant growth trend in this area. The collaborative relationship is becoming closer across research institutions and scholars. The research topics of resilience have been changing in the latest 30 years. The results reveal important highlights and future research directions of resilience science on academic domains including definition of resilience, measurement methods of network resilience, and mechanisms to forming resilient status. Moreover, this study will help researchers in resilience science for future collaboration and work.


Resilience science Definition Bibliometric analysis Evolution trend Social network analysis 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant Nos. 71671053, 71390522, 71271065). The work described in this paper was also funded by the National Science and Technology Program, China (No. 2014BAL05B06), and the National Key Research and Development Program, China (No. 2016YFC0701808).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina
  2. 2.School of Property, Construction and Project ManagementRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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