Scientific Landscape on Phthalates Biodegradation Research: A Bibliometric and Scientometric Study
Keywords:Phthalate biodegradation, Bibliometric and scientometric, Microbial enzymes, Research policy
This study investigated the scientific landscape of research on phthalate esters biodegradation using the Web of Science database up to 2022. The collected data were analysed using bibliometric and scientometric tools. A total of 863 scholarly documents published between 1975 and 2022 in 266 journals were selected for analysis. The analysis revealed a growth rate of 6.9% in the research field, with an average document age of 10.8 years. The trend in phthalate biodegradation research showed a steady increase in citations until 1997, followed by a slight decrease until 2005, but experienced renewed interest in 2006 and significant growth in 2016. Chemosphere was identified as the prominent journal, and China had the most publications (417) followed by India (78), while Africa had the least productivity, with South Africa contributing the highest number of publications (9). Thematic evolution in the field focused on understanding the mechanisms of phthalate breakdown through microbial enzymes like hydrolases, while revealing changing patterns with the current research focus being "microbial community" and "metabolism" as indicated by strongest burstiness strengths. The study sheds light on the scientific landscape of phthalate biodegradation research, highlighting research gaps and suggesting potential research policy improvements such as enhancing funding and capacity building in biodegradation research in Africa.