The landscape of academic literature in quantum technologies


International Journal of Quantum Information, vol.19, no.2, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1142/s021974992150012x
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Quantum Information
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, zbMATH, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Quantum technologies, bibliometrics, quantum information, science policy, INTERDISCIPLINARY, ORIGINS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021 World Scientific Publishing Company.In this study, we investigated the academic literature on quantum technologies (QT) using bibliometric tools. We used a set of 49,823 articles obtained from the Web of Science (WoS) database using a search query constructed through expert opinion. Analysis of this revealed that QT is deeply rooted in physics, and the majority of the articles are published in physics journals. Keyword analysis revealed that the literature could be clustered into three distinct sets, which are (i) quantum communication/cryptography, (ii) quantum computation, and (iii) physical realizations of quantum systems. We performed a burst analysis that showed the emergence and fading away of certain key concepts in the literature. This is followed by co-citation analysis on the "highly cited"articles provided by the WoS, using these we devised a set of core corpus of 34 publications. Comparing the most highly cited articles in this set with respect to the initial set we found that there is a clear difference in most cited subjects. Finally, we performed co-citation analyses on country and organization levels to find the central nodes in the literature. Overall, the analyses of the datasets allowed us to cluster the literature into three distinct sets, construct the core corpus of the academic literature in QT, and to identify the key players on country and organization levels, thus offering insight into the current state of the field. Search queries and access to figures are provided in the appendix.