Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (11): 1245-1250.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018293

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analysis of fern research article trends across the Web of Science in the 21st century

Kaimei Zhang1,2,*(),Yu Shen1,2,Xiaoli Zhou1,2,Yanming Fang1,2,*()   

  1. 1 Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Biology and the Environment, Key Laboratory of State Forestry and Grassland Administration on Subtropical Forest Biodiversity Conservation, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037
    2 State Environmental Protection Scientific Observation and Research Station for Ecology and Environment of Wuyi Mountains, Nanjing 210037
  • Received:2018-11-04 Accepted:2019-05-16 Online:2019-11-20 Published:2020-01-17
  • Contact: Zhang Kaimei,Fang Yanming


Ferns are a group of plants with a long history, and thus they provide important experimental materials in scientific studies. This study analyzes all papers that describe “fern”, “lycophyte”, “pteridophyte” and “pteridophyta” in the Web of Science database published from January 1 st, 2000 to December 31 st, 2018. Our four main results were: (1) After 2000, the number of scientific papers about ferns increased rapidly, with a significant increase after 2006. Today, the number of studies annually exceeds 600. (2) Since 2010, interdisciplinary fern research has become more common, in contrast to the fern-specific studies that were more common before 2010. (3) China has become a major leader in the number of fern and lycophyte publications. (4) Finally, there still needs some efforts for Chinese researchers in the following time. With the four above conclusions, our research review highlights new opportunities and directions for research related to ferns and serves as a guide fern researchers in China.

Key words: fern, Web of Science, data analysis, bibliometric analysis