Mapping the contemporary terrorism research domain

Edna F. Reid, Hsinchun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


A systematic view of terrorism research to reveal the intellectual structure of the field and empirically discern the distinct set of core researchers, institutional affiliations, publications, and conceptual areas can help us gain a deeper understanding of approaches to terrorism. This paper responds to this need by using an integrated knowledge-mapping framework that we developed to identify the core researchers and knowledge creation approaches in terrorism. The framework uses three types of analysis: (a) basic analysis of scientific output using citation, bibliometric, and social network analyses, (b) content map analysis of large corpora of literature, and (c) co-citation analysis to analyse linkages among pairs of researchers. We applied domain visualization techniques such as content map analysis, block-modeling, and co-citation analysis to the literature and author citation data from the years 1965 to 2003. The data were gathered from ten databases such as the ISI Web of Science. The results reveal: (1) the names of the top 42 core terrorism researchers (e.g., Brian Jenkins, Bruce Hoffman, and Paul Wilkinson) as well as their institutional affiliations; (2) their influential publications; (3) clusters of terrorism researchers who work in similar areas; and (4) that the research focus has shifted from terrorism as a low-intensity conflict to a strategic threat to world powers with increased focus on Osama Bin Laden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-56
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Bibliometrics
  • Co-citation analysis
  • Intellectual structure
  • Terrorism
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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