The Trends and Content of Research Related to the Sustainable Development Goals: A Systemic Review

Shin Cheng Yeh*, Yi Lin Hsieh, Hui Ching Yu, Yuen Hsien Tseng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study employed a comprehensive systematic review of the literature (SRL) process with the Content Analysis Toolkits for Academic Research (CATAR) for conducting a bibliometric analysis of the 2814 general SDG-related papers and 92 review papers selected from the Web of Science database from 2013 to 2022. The overview analysis found that the US and UK took the lead in publication and citation. The WHO and several universities were identified as the most promi-nent institutes around the globe. The field distribution of the most cited papers revealed the exist-ence of a “strong sustainability” paradigm and the importance of science and technology. A landscape of 1123 papers was included in eight clusters according to the bibliographic coupling algorithms in the Multi-stage Document Clustering (MSDC) process. These clusters were then catego-rized into three groups, “synergies and trade-offs”, “networking”, and “systems analysis”, demon-strated in the theme maps. As for the 92 SDG-related review papers, most were shaped based on literature analysis without specified countries. Moreover, SDG 3 was identified as that exclusively studied in most papers. The information presented is expected to help research scholars, public sectors, and practitioners monitor, gather, check, analyze, and use the growing volume of SDG-related academic articles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6820
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 1


  • SDGs
  • bibliometric analysis
  • review papers
  • synergies and trade-offs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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