Uncovering the Knowledge Flows and Intellectual Structures of Research in Technological Forecasting and Social Change: A Journey Through History

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Technological Forecasting and Social Change (TF&SC) celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year. The anniversary represents an appropriate time for an introspective analysis of the journal's history and impact. This study presents a bibliometric analysis of TF&SC in terms of how often TF&SC is cited by other journals (citation outflow), how often other journals are cited by TF&SC (citation inflow), citations by Web of Science and SCImago disciplinary categories, most-cited articles in TF&SC, co-citation of journals, and co-occurrence of author keywords. Analysis is conducted by using the Web of Science (WOS) database and Visualization of Similarities (VOS) viewer software. The incoming versus outgoing citation patterns identified here suggest an asymmetry in the knowledge flows of TF&SC. Papers published in TF&SC have increasingly cited knowledge from journals in Technology and Innovation Management (TIM), Engineering, and Decision Sciences, but the journal impacts a different set of disciplinary categories such as Energy, Environmental Sciences, and Social Sciences. From 1969–2018, Innovation, Foresight and Forecasting feature as the most popular keywords. Focus on topics such as Patents/Patent Analysis, Climate Change, Sustainability, and Energy seems to have intensified in the last decade.

Findings suggest that focus on two countries of interest, India and China, is emerging in research published in TF&SC. Different regions of the world can be expected to place differential emphasis on various topics based on their socioeconomic-technological environments. The journal needs to be receptive to this diversity of perspectives from a growing community of scholars worldwide.