Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Fall 9-20-2021


The "digital divide" refers to the gap between those people who have access to information and communication technologies (computer, cellphones, especially smart phones, digital hardware, software and internet) and those who don't. Literature show that digital divide has been explored extensively in different perspectives. The main objective of the current study is to look at the bibliometric examination of research output on the "Digital Divide" literature published in the Web of Science from 1999 to 2021, using bibliometric and visualization techniques. Initially, minimum number of 14 keywords occurrences are selected in which 70 keywords out of 5127 finalized. For the Keywords analysis VOS-viewer were used. Five keywords “Digital Divide”, “Internet”, “ICT”, “Digital Inequalities” and “Digital Literacy” truly represent the nature of the current research.

Finally, 2443 documents on "Digital Divide" indexed in the Web of Science database were analyzed, including Articles, Proceeding papers, Reviews, and book Chapters. Among all of them the most occurring document is Article (1632). For data analysis and bibliometric indicator extraction, the bibliometric method based on the R package, Excel, MS-Access, and VOS-viewer software packages were used. This study reveals the research work, productivity and publication of different authors on Digital Divide. Further, this work provided some pertinent information about the most productive countries, organizations, and authors, preferred types of researcher's sources and authorship collaboration in Digital Divide research as well as prominent research's citations and their use. Similarly, based on the data collected, the focus was on top-ranked publications. Leading countries, institutes, journals, articles, authorships, keywords, collaborative research networks, leading scholars, and keywords were all included in the analysis.

Results show that the article “The digital divide as a complex and dynamic phenomenon” published in 2003 have the highest citation 546 published in the journal “Information Society”. It reveals that most of the articles on “Digital Divide” included in the current study have reasonable citation because the least cited article among top 20 had 216 citations. Further, collaboration of two authors, closely followed by one, three and four authors has been found regarding the publications on“Digital Divide”.

Among top 20 most productive countries on “Digital Divide”, USA is the most productive country with 780 documents, followed by England and Spain with 186 and 161 respectively. Similarly, when looking at the leading research institutions “Tilburg University” appeared one of the highest productive institute have “Tilburg University” leads the research institute list with 26 publications in this area. Most prolific author in this field is “Jams J”, who published 23 articles. The highest bilateral collaboration has been observed between the United States and China.

This study emphasis on the patterns of scholarly communication in the digital divide research. These trends would benefit scholars from a variety of fields by identifying the core areas, main authors, and core publications that produce this content. It also encourages scholars to do collaborative and multidisciplinary research on the digital divide in order to gain deep and practical knowledge.Leading countries, institutes, journals, articles, authorships, keywords, collaborative research networks, leading scholars, and a three-factor analysis of leading countries, institutions, and keywords were all highlighted in the analysis.