Exploratory Bibliometrics: Using VOSviewer as a Preliminary Research Tool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores ways in which open access bibliometric software can be used to undertake exploratory research and to generate new avenues of inquiry. It takes as its focus VOSviewer, a freely available software package used to construct and display bibliometric relationships between a variety of variables. Beginning with published examples, the paper proceeds to create an original case study using bibliometrics to explore the extent to which the field of remote sensing is contributing to the implementation of sustainable development goals. This example uses Scopus data and VOSviewer to examine and contrast co-occurrence data among publications in six journals, and it demonstrates how such software can be successfully used to undertake preliminary studies and to shape subsequent research which employs more formal approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • bibliometrics
  • exploratory research
  • remote sensing
  • Scopus
  • SDGs
  • VOSviewer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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