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Policy projects

Bibliometric analysis of shale gas research

29 April 2021

Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing
Hydraulic fracturing rig on the plains of eastern Colorado.

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

The report focuses on the amount of research carried out in the following areas:

  • Resource estimation
  • Fracturing fluid: composition, treatment, storage & disposal
  • Methane leakage & groundwater contamination
  • Monitoring seismicity
  • Public perception & governance


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

Bibliometric assessment of global shale gas research 2009 – 2018: Project summary and methodology (PDF) provides background information 

Bibliometric assessment of global shale gas research 2009 – 2018: Grey literature list (PDF) is a list of related information collected during the project. 

The Royal Society’s work on energy

The Royal Society is running a major low carbon energy programme, looking at the science and technology options to ensure that the UK meets its carbon reduction targets.

Read about the Royal Society’s work on climate change at Energy, environment and climate change.

Further reading

Climate change briefings

Low carbon energy programme

Shale gas extraction 2012 report

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