Mapping the landscape of Internet Studies : Text mining of social science journal articles 2000-2009

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

34 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-664
Journal / PublicationNew Media and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


What does 'Internet studies' entail as a field of social science research? We aim to answer the question by mapping research themes, theorization, and methodology of Internet studies based on 27,000+ articles published in Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index journals over the last 10 years. In analyzing the articles, we adopt a 'bottom-up' approach - classifying keywords of the Internet studies without any a priori categorization - to identify the boundaries, major divisions, and basic elements of the field talis qualis. The research strategy results in a number of expected, as well as surprising, patterns and trends. Internet studies have evolved into a viable field that has witnessed a booming decade. The field is clustered around four primary research themes: e-Health, e-Business, e-Society, and Human-Technology Interactions. Two or three sub-themes with different research foci and methodologies emerge within each theme. The evolution of popular keywords in each sub-theme further shows that the field has become more concerned with intricate relationships between Internet use and specific behaviors/attitudes/effects; Internet usage patterns have increasingly attracted research attention; and network perspectives and approaches have become popular. Internet studies in the past decade have been modestly theorized. Established research methods (e.g., survey, experiment, and content analysis) still prevail in the Internet studies reviewed. © The Author(s) 2012.

Research Area(s)

  • e-business, e-health, e-society, Human-Technology Interactions (HTIs), research themes