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The scientometrics of literature on smart cities

Shima Moradi (Department of Scientometrics, National Research Institute for Science Policy, Tehran, Iran)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 26 June 2019

Issue publication date: 11 June 2020




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the research trends in smart cities (SCs) in order to demonstrate the most and the least active fields, researchers, institutions, frontier active centers/authors and funding institutions, as well as drawing the map of the most active countries in this scope.


Bibliometric data of 4,696 scientific works were collected from Web of Science, one of the most authentic bibliometric databases, within 1970–2018. The data were analyzed using scientometrics and content analysis methods and visualized by tables, charts and atlases.


The results showed an increasing trend in these studies mostly published as conference papers during 48 years. In this period, 0.6 percent of the papers got more than ten citations. Highly cited fields in the area of SCs were orderly smart IT infrastructure, smart government, smart environment, smart mobility, smart energy, smart economy and smart citizen. The geographic atlas of SC studies showed that the frontier countries in SCs were China, Spain and Italy, orderly. China’s main focus was on smart infrastructure while Spain’s focus was smart citizens and smart energy. Italy’s studies were mostly concentrated on smart government, smart mobility and smart environment. In general, it can be concluded that “smart IT infrastructure” was the most noted among the other components of SCs.


The scientometrics of SC literature has been conducted for the first time.



Moradi, S. (2020), "The scientometrics of literature on smart cities", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 385-398.



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