, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 111–127 | Cite as

Trends in research foci in life science fields over the last 30 years monitored by emerging topics

  • Ryosuke L. Ohniwa
  • Aiko Hibino
  • Kunio Takeyasu


We report here a simple method to identify the ‘emerging topics’ in life sciences. First, the keywords selected from MeSH terms on PubMed by filtering the terms based on their increment rate of the appearance, and, then, were sorted into groups dealing with the same topics by ‘co-word’ analysis. These topics were defined as ‘emerging topics’. The survey of the emerging keywords with high increment rates of appearance between 1972 to 2006 showed that emerging topics changed dramatically year by year, and that the major shift of the topics occurred in the late 90s; the topics that cover technical and conceptual aspects in molecular biology to the more systematic ‘-omics’-related and nanoscience-related aspects. We further investigated trends in emerging topics within various sub-fields in the life sciences.


Trends in life science Emerging topics MeSH terms PubMed Co-word analysis 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 54 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PPTX 56 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (XLS 5901 kb)


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryosuke L. Ohniwa
    • 1
  • Aiko Hibino
    • 2
  • Kunio Takeyasu
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Graduate School of Arts and ScienceUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Laboratory of Plasma Membrane and Nuclear Signaling, Graduate School of BiostudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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