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Exploring natural capital using bibliometrics and social media data

Yuan Pan, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI), Cambridge, UK; Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Bhaskar Vira, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI), Cambridge, UK; Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-11118-240405

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Abstract

Research and interest into natural capital, i.e., the stock of the world’s natural resources, is increasing as it links humans with nature within a social-ecological system, contributing to ecosystem sustainability. We collected publication data for 300 natural capital papers to explore academic networks and research trends. We used Twitter to collect 14,193 tweets about natural capital over nine months. Analyzing publication data shows three main research clusters, but few coauthorships between the clusters. The results show substantial international coauthorships, and the dominance of American and British academics as coauthors. Analyzing Twitter data, we identified a small community of key users that tweet about natural capital frequently. We found that a range of words is used in tweets about natural capital and the overall sentiment of tweets is positive. For both types of data, “ecosystem services” and “biodiversity” are keywords associated with natural capital. Our results have identified key communities of natural capital researchers, but highlight a potential disconnect between research clusters that needs to be addressed. Current communities surrounding natural capital in academia and on Twitter are relatively exclusive and small.

Key words

bibliometrics; citation analysis; natural capital; network analysis; social media; Twitter

Copyright © 2019 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087