To read this content please select one of the options below:

A bibliometric approach to quantitatively assess current research trends in 5G security

M. Najmul Islam Farooqui (NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan)
Junaid Arshad (Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)
Muhammad Mubashir Khan (NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 4 August 2021

Issue publication date: 30 November 2021




Alongside the remarkable evolution of cellular communication to 5G networks, significant security and privacy challenges have risen which can affect the widespread adoption of advanced communication technologies. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to examine research within security and privacy for 5G-based systems highlighting contributions made by the research community and identify research trends within different subdomains of 5G security where open issues still exist.


This paper uses a bibliographic approach to review the state-of-the-art in the field of 5G security and is the pioneering effort to investigate 5G security research using this methodology. Specifically, the paper presents a quantitative description of the existing contributions in terms of authors, organizations, and countries. It then presents detailed keyword and co-citation analysis that shows the quantity and pattern of research work in different subfields. Finally, 5G security areas are identified having open challenges for future research work.


The study shows that China leads the world in terms of published research in the field of 5G security with USA and India ranked second and third respectively. Xidian University, China is ranked highest for number of publications and h-index followed by University Oulu and AALTO University Finland. IEEE Access, Sensors and IEEE Internet of Things Journal are the top publication venues in the field of 5G security. Using VOSViewer aided analysis with respect to productivity, research areas and keywords, the authors have identified research trends in 5G security among scientific community whilst highlighting specific challenges which require further efforts.


Existing studies have focused on surveys covering state-of-the art research in secure 5G network (Zhang et al. 2019), physical layer security (Wu et al., 2018), security and privacy of 5G technologies (Khan et al., 2020) and security and privacy challenges when 5G is used in IoT (Sicari et al. 2020). However, our research has revealed no existing bibliometric studies in this area and therefore, to our best knowledge, this paper represents pioneering such effort for security within 5G.



Data availability statement: The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


Farooqui, M.N.I., Arshad, J. and Khan, M.M. (2021), "A bibliometric approach to quantitatively assess current research trends in 5G security", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 1097-1120.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles