Mapping of climate change research in the Arab world: a bibliometric analysis

Shaher H. Zyoud*, Daniela Fuchs-Hanusch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The attendant threats of climate change in the Arab world are accelerating at a high pace. The realization of these risks has promoted scientific research activities in climate change (i.e., modeling of climate change effects and development of mitigation and adaptation measures). A bibliometric analysis was desired to trace the status and trends of these research activities with an origin from the Arab world. The aim was to contribute to a better understanding of the scientific knowledge of climate change and its impacts and survey its evolution. Moreover, it is aimed at enabling recommendations for future research activities in this field. The data of this analysis were retrieved from the Scopus database using the most common terms of climate change to search titles, abstracts, and keywords. The collected data, in the form of documents referring to climate change, enabled to extract and further assess different quantitative and qualitative bibliometric indicators. Productivity of countries, sources, and institutions; collaboration figures; impact of published research; and citation rates were being among the assessed indicators. Subsequently, the data were analyzed using visualization maps and clustering techniques to characterize the hot spots and vital topics of research. A total of 2074 documents (1.2% of the total global research output) were retrieved from the Arab world. Saudi Arabia took the leading positions in terms of the number of publications (473 documents; 22.8%), impact of research (Hirsch index (h-index), 48), collected citations (10,573 citations), and number of documents from collaboration (389 documents). The USA was the most collaborated country with the Arab world (344 documents; 17.0%), followed by France (311 documents; 15.0%). The most productive journal was Plos One (42 documents; 2.0%), followed by the Arabian Journal of Geosciences (38 documents; 1.8%). Three institutions from Saudi Arabia were in the forefront in terms of research productivity (King Abdulaziz University, 124 documents; King Saud University, 117 documents; and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, 102 documents). The vital climate change-related topics which will continue to be active in the future are climate modeling, physiology, genetics, and animals. The present data indicate a committed scientific research progress. Increasing the fund, capacity building, and development of regional experience with climate change-related disasters are key factors to promote the scientific research in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3523-3540
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Sustainable development
  • Visualization maps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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