The rise of the metaverse has brought profound changes to the economic and social operation models and injected new vitality into academic research. Although a large number of studies have emerged, there are few quantitative analyses of development frontiers and trends.
From a bibliometric perspective, this paper selects 183 pieces of metaverse-related literature in the WoS core database since 2000 as the object of analysis. This paper sums up the characteristics of the literature using the methods of descriptive statistical analysis, keywords analysis, thematic evolution analysis and summarizes the core themes and the laws of metaverse development in each stage.
The digital economy vision brought by the metaverse has led to an increasing number of researchers and achievements in this field. But the depth and breadth of research are still insufficient and unevenly distributed in the region, and the cross-fertilization fields need to be expanded. From the industry's point of view, VR games represented by Second Life and My World have contributed to the popularity of the metaverse. As technology progresses, the research hotspots in the field of metaverse gradually develop from conceptual research to artificial intelligence, blockchain, NFT and other technical applications. However, academic research has not yet caught up with the industry's pace and stays more in the concept discussion and preliminary application stage.
A systematic overview of the current status, knowledge structure and hot issues of metaverse research is shown, which provides a thematic axis for this field, enriches and improves the quantitative analysis of its literature and provides a clear picture for researchers to continuously promote the development of this field. At the same time, it is necessary to warn that technological development is a double-edged sword. The process of metaverse development should return to rationality, respect the laws of its development and guarantee the healthy development of the metaverse by strengthening legal regulation and the ethical review of science and technology.
The authors acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11905042), Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (No. G2021203011) and Humanities and Social Science Research Project of Hebei Education Department (No. JCZX2023015, No. JCZX2023005)the National Social Science Found Major Project of China (No. 18ZDA325).
Feng, X., Wang, X. and Su, Y. (2022), "An analysis of the current status of metaverse research based on bibliometrics", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-10-2022-0467
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