Academies publish bibliometric analysis of shale gas research

29 April 2021

The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering have published a bibliometric analysis of the quantity of global shale gas research published between 2009 and 2018. The analysis is designed to aid academics, industrialists and governments who are interested in the extent of shale gas research.

Bibliometric Assessment of Global Shale Gas Research 2009 – 2018, provides a quantitative analysis of published studies and highlights trends in shale gas research on different topics and in different global regions. The analysis was conducted by Elsevier Analytical Services.

Professor Hywel Thomas, Chair of the steering group who oversaw the project said: “Negotiating all the research in any field can be difficult and so our work should be a useful guide for those wanting to look at the scientific study of shale gas.”

The analysis shows that between 2009 and 2018 research into shale gas increased dramatically and was relative highly cited, although the rate of growth slowed between 2014 to 2018, compared to between 2009 and 2013. It also found that the field-weighted citation impact, while remaining above the average for all fields, had reduced in the latter period.

The analysis looks at five broad areas of research: resource estimation; fracturing fluid, composition, treatment, storage, and disposal; methane leakage and groundwater contamination; seismic monitoring; and public perception and governance.

In 2012, the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering published a joint report on shale gas exploitation - Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing.