Maria Burke and Jon Evans

In this, the first of two special reports, science writers Maria Burke and Jon Evans provide their insights into the hottest research topics in materials science by looking through the publication data provided by Scopus and SciVal.

In this new report, Hot Topics in Material Science, the authors derive insights into the current state and future prospects of materials research, by drawing on data provided by Scopus and SciVal, part of Elsevier’s research intelligence suite. The report covers eight classes of materials: biomedical; ceramics; drug related materials; energy materials; electronic, optical and magnetic (EOM) materials; metals and alloys; nanomaterials; and polymers and plastics. For each material class, the authors use the wealth of data provided by Scopus and SciVal to uncover trends in research activity. They identify the topics and technologies within each material class that are receiving most interest from researchers, and the countries producing the largest volume of research and the most influential research, which is very often not the same. They also reveal how this has changed over the past few years. To investigate commercial interest in these research activities, they also looked at industrial collaborations and patent citations. All this analysis is backed up by a host of informative tables and graphs. Finally, they bring all these analyses together to provide a snapshot of the current state of materials research, revealing which are the ‘hottest’ topics. To add expert opinion, they also conducted interviews with the editors-in chief of some of Elsevier’s high-impact materials journals, who gave their personal views on the current state of materials research and its future development.

Click to download PDF of the full report.

A summary of this report has been published as The wonderful world of materials: Perspectives on the materials research landscape in the journal Materials Today. This article may be cited as Mater. Today, DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2018.10.037.