Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 17, pp 17809–17820 | Cite as

Global trends and future prospects of e-waste research: a bibliometric analysis

  • Ya Gao
  • Long Ge
  • Shuzhen Shi
  • Yue Sun
  • Ming Liu
  • Bo Wang
  • Yi Shang
  • Jiarui Wu
  • Jinhui TianEmail author
Research Article


Electronic waste (e-waste) has been widely studied by scholars all over the world, but the research topics and development trends in this field are still unclear. This study aimed to explore the status quo, hot topics, and future prospects in the field of e-waste. Data of publications were downloaded from the Web of Science Core Collection. We used CiteSpace V, Histcite, and VOSviewer to analyze literature information. A total of 2800 papers in e-waste research were identified, and the number of publications increased rapidly after 2004. Six thousand five hundred seventy-three authors participated in the e-waste research, but 70.01% of the authors published only 1 article. The most productive country in this field was China (1146 publications), and the most productive institution was the Chinese Academy of Sciences (370 publications). The Waste Management (225 publications) was the most productive journal, and Environment Science & Technology (9704 co-citations) was the most co-cited journal. The main hot topics in e-waste field were management and recycling of e-waste in developing countries, health risk assessment after exposure to organic pollutants, degradation and recovery of waste metal materials, and impact of heavy metals on children’s health. The frontier topic was degradation.


Bibliometric analysis E-waste Research trend Web of Science VOSviewer CiteSpace 


Funding information

This work is supported by the Science and Technology Plan Project of Gansu Province.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Evidence-Based Medicine Center, School of Basic Medical SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhou CityChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Evidence-Based Medicine and Knowledge Translation of Gansu ProvinceLanzhouChina
  3. 3.School of Public HealthLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  4. 4.Evidence-Based Nursery Center, School of NursingLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of NursingRehabilitation Center Hospital of Gansu ProvinceLanzhouChina
  6. 6.Lanzhou University Second HospitalLanzhouChina
  7. 7.Department of Clinical Chinese Pharmacy, School of Chinese Materia MedicaBeijing University of Chinese MedicineBeijingChina

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