Science mapping research on body image: A bibliometric review of publications in Body Image, 2004–2020
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionBody image. 2021, 38 106-119. 10.1016/j.bodyim.2021.03.015
Science mapping is a methodology that combines quantitative analysis, classification, and visualisation to identify the composition and inter-relationships between bibliographic objects. Here, we used bibliometric science mapping to identify the overarching structure, evolution of research themes and research fronts, and geographic spread of body image research. We examined 2,783 keywords in 1,107 articles published in Body Image between 2004 and 2020, selected as being representative of body image research during this period. Co-occurrence analysis of the keywords enabled us to identify five general themes in the literature: “clinical and weight-related issues”, “body image and disordered eating”, “positive body image and objectification”, “media effects”, and “ethnicity/race”. Burst analysis allowed us to identify research fronts in this research, with work on social media and positive body image in particular being identified as emergent. Finally, co-author analysis indicated that body image research networks are heavily focused on a small handful of nations, although there is evidence of a recent shift toward greater geographic spread. Our results, and the provision of interactive maps and extensive tables, should allow readers to examine connections between research clusters and areas, generate novel research ideas, and more fully understand the evolution and future trajectories of body image research.