Thirty years of global research on transgender-related topics: a bibliometric analysis and visualization
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Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, Central Michigan University, Freeland, United States
Central Michigan University, United States
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1881
Background: The interdisciplinary nature of transgender-related studies, coupled with the complexity of transgender people’s experiences with family dynamics, violence, discrimination, inequality, and health systems, make it hard for researchers to develop a holistic view of the transgender research landscape. Objective: We use natural language processing to visualize many strands of research into transgender people’s issues to reveal scientific terminology, research directions, and historic evolution of transgender scholarship. Methods: This study is based on 20033 Web of Science records of transgender-related studies. Inclusion criteria was the word “transgender” in the titles, abstracts, or Keywords of documents published over the past 30 years. The VOSviewer software for bibliometric analysis was used to map clusters of journals and Keywords used to index transgender studies. Results: The number of transgender-related publications increased dramatically from 162 articles in 1994-2002 (there were no publications in 1992-1993) to 1,970 in 2002-2012, followed by a 9-fold increase to 17651 publications in 2012-2022. Journal of Homosexuality (10.6% of all publications), AIDS and Behavior (7.7%) and LGBTQ Health (7.5%) contributed the most publications. Transgender research was authored by scientists from 147 countries but the United States contributed the most (N = 12,578, 62.8%). We mapped a co-occurrence network of 1000 keywords. It is a multidisciplinary network with 6 clusters that represent research on transgender health and gender dysphoria; LGBTQ experiences; mental health; HIV prevention and STDs; and healthcare access and inequities. The citation map of journals replicates these research directions and offers additional insights, for example, a strong focus on youth and adolescents. Conclusions: In sum, we offer bibliometric evidence that transgender studies are a rapidly developing field with established terminology, dedicated journals, and a global research community involved in the knowledge construction from the perspective of many disciplines such as public health, medicine, social sciences, education, and law.