Relationship of digital and industrial aspects in economic research based on EconLit bibliometric analysis

Digital economy: theory and practice

The reviews of scientific economic literature show growing complexity of interrelationships between subject areas and discord among different types of publications, registered editions and subject classifications. In this context, the need to comprehend the digitalization trends is becoming more and more acute. This paper presents the results of bibliometric analysis of more than one and half million publications indexed in the electronic bibliographic EconLit database in terms of digital and industrial aspects and interrelation between them. The records, in which the title contains the terms “digital” or “digitization”, “online”, “smart”, “mobile”, “internet”, “computer” or “computing”, “telecommunication” and “software” were attributed to the “digital aspect”. The publications of “industrial aspect” belong to 37 JEL micro categories of four-meso categories with the title of “Industry Studies” (L6 Manufacturing; L7 Primary Products and Construction; L8 Services; L9 Transportation and Utilities). The paper contains a set of indicators for assessment of the digitalization degree of publications reflected in EconLit in 1991–2020. These indicators help to discover the “points of growth” at the intersections of digital and industrial aspects in the research object and subject framework. The presented results showed that the world economic literature continues to pay more attention to the problems and methods of digitalization. Analysis of publication activity by sub-periods of 1991–2020 helped to single out four terms (“online”, “digital”, “smart”, “mobile”) with a pronounced increase in activity. Examples of some notable publications illustrate the most interesting trends. The highest values of “digitalization rates” are in the category L63 Microelectronics, computers, communications. The digitalization rates above average are in L8 Service, where the leader is L86 Information and Internet Services; Computer Software. L7 Primary Products and Construction is only making first steps towards digitalization. The thoughts about future research developments conclude the main section of the article.