The advancement of data analysis tools makes analyzing a huge amount of literature possible. This paper aims to identify tourism information technology research trends with the assistance of Toolkit for Academic Research (CATAR) to answer two research questions: the status of tourism information technology (IT) articles published in these selected journals from 1990 to 2016, and whether the number of Tourism IT articles is increasing or decreasing, and the main research topics studied in these articles from 1990 to 2016, and whether those have shifted over the 27 years.
Selected keywords identified by researchers that were used to extract Tourism IT articles published in Web of Science database. CATAR was used to carry out two analyses, namely, overview analysis and breakdown analysis. Overview analysis is performed to apply citation analysis to identify the general trend and the most cited reference of Tourism IT research represented by the selected articles. Breakdown analysis is based on bibliographic coupling (BC) analysis.
The number of Tourism IT publications grew rapidly in the second half of the 2000s, as mobile phones with touch screens became increasingly popular. It signals changes in the way of information searching behaviors. A total of 769 authors from 44 countries contributed to Tourism IT research. The USA, China, UK and Australia are the countries contributing the most. Six subject areas were revealed, namely, the interaction of people and organization; interaction of people and information; interaction of people and technology; technological implementation; the interaction of organization and information; and interaction of organization and technology.
The major limitation of this study must be considered – the use of data merely derived from WoS database. The BC analysis makes a comparison between references of the given articles. This analysis requires the citation sources with better data quality, which is mainly based on the accuracy and standardization of databases. WoS is the database currently fit this requirement. The emergence of the new citation tools will enable scholars to pull data from new databases and to clean the data. Incorporating data from those new databases will reveal more accurate and comprehensive picture of Tourism IT research trend.
This paper revealed the research trend and major research subject areas of Tourism IT research for the past 16 years. The results can assist scholars to quickly grasp the Tourism IT research. This paper also provides an alternative approach to conduct literature review with computer-assisted analysis program.
The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of China, Taiwan, for financially supporting this research under Contract No. MOST 105-2410-H-228-002.
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