4,342 Coastal Dune Papers

The literature on coastal dunes is rich and varied, coming from a variety of journals and disciplines. If you search Web of Science for ‘Coastal Dune’ (from 1900-2016) you are rewarded with 4,342 papers. This sort of ‘topic’ search looks for the mention of ‘Coastal Dune’ in publication titles, abstracts, and author supplied keywords.

Here are the # of papers published per year found searching for ‘Coastal Dune’  from 1900-2016:F1.jpg

  • The peak year was 2013, with 303 papers
  • Note that we are only 7 months in to 2016 and already 149 new papers on coastal dunes exist. Extrapolating for all of 2016 results in 255 papers for the year, similar to the period of 2009-2012.

Below you can see the cumulative papers. Updated Aug. 3, 2016: The literature on Coastal Dunes tends to double in size every ~6 years (calculated from 1991-2015).

I guess the field started to heat up in 1990/1991 — I wonder why? Updated Aug. 2, 2016: Before 1991, no abstracts were included in the Web of Science, so this accounts for the bump.


These 4,342 ‘Coastal Dune’ papers have been published in 1112 different locations. The top 10 locations for ‘Coastal Dune’ research (by volume of papers) are:


  • Out of the 10 most cited papers in this dataset of 4,342 papers, only 1 was published in the ten journals listed above.

 Graphically, you can see that most published research is concentration in these journals (ordered by rank; Linear axes on the left panel, Log axes on the right panel)


To me, this begs the quesiton of: Is it possible to do a comprehensive literature review when you have so many papers to cover, from so many disciplines, from so many journals? 


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