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Evaluation and scientometric analysis of researches on air pollution in developing countries from 1952 to 2018


Many scholars have worked to solve the widespread problems associated with air pollution especially in developing countries. So, there is a huge bulk of research output in this field that should be classified to determine the next steps and finding out research gaps. Hence, in this study, the scientometric approach was performed by CiteSpace V to draw the trends and signify issues in the research area. Based on the search in ISI Web of Science database, 25,363 documents were retrieved for air pollution in developing countries. The documents were analyzed for co-authorship, countries collaboration, ISI Web of Science categories co-occurrence, keyword co-occurrence, and institutional collaboration. The data showed the published studies had an upward trend over the years. By considering the number of citations, China plays an important role in air pollution research in developing countries, and the USA is the top country with the potential to change the structure of the network. Along with the developing countries, developed countries have also played a serious role in advancing research in this field. The trend of the studies has shown that research trends in early years tend to pure environmental studies, and in recent years, it has shifted to areas like monitoring, management, and biodiversity conservation. Keyword co-occurrence showed sulfur dioxide with a duration of 22 years is one of the most important issues in studies of air pollution in developing countries. Among the institutes, the University of Sao Paulo and Harvard University have made greater efforts to investigate air pollution in developing countries. Nanjing University of Information Science& Technology had the highest frequency in a short period. Overall, this work provides a quantitative, visual, and large-scale review of the majority of publications on ‘air pollution in developing countries’ that may be important to researchers, practitioners, sponsors, and any individual/ institution concerned about air pollution.

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The authors are grateful to the Bushehr University of Medical Sciences for its technical support to conduct this work.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Ali Hamidi and Bahman Ramavandi. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Ali Hamidi and both authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ali Hamidi or Bahman Ramavandi.

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Hamidi, A., Ramavandi, B. Evaluation and scientometric analysis of researches on air pollution in developing countries from 1952 to 2018. Air Qual Atmos Health 13, 797–806 (2020).

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  • Air pollution
  • Developing countries
  • Scientometrics
  • Collaboration networks
  • Co-occurrence networks