A Scientometric Exploration of Crowdsourcing: Research Clusters and Applications
Crowdsourcing is a multidisciplinary research area that represents a rapidly expanding field where new applications are constantly emerging. Research in this area has investigated its use for citizen science in data gathering for research and crowdsourcing for industrial innovation. Previous studies have reviewed and categorized crowdsourcing research using qualitative methods. This has led to the limited coverage of the entire field, using smaller discrete parts of the literature and mostly reviewing the industrial aspects of crowdsourcing. This study uses a scientometric analysis of 7059 publications over the period 2006–2019 to map crowdsourcing research to identify clusters and applications. Our results are the first in the literature to map crowdsourcing research holistically. In this article, we classify its usage in the three domains of innovation, engineering, and science, where 11 categories and 26 subcategories are further developed. The results of this article reveal that the most active scientific clusters where crowdsourcing is used are environmental sciences and ecology. For the engineering domain, it is computer science, telecommunication, and operations research. In innovation, idea crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and crowd creation are the most frequent areas. The findings of this study map crowdsourcing usage across different fields and illustrate emerging crowdsourcing applications.