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Unveiling the conceptual development of industrial symbiosis: bibliometric analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2020-06-01, 00:00 authored by Harshini Mallawaarachchi, Yasangika Sandanayake, Gayani KarunasenaGayani Karunasena, Chunlu LiuChunlu Liu
The concept of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) has been emerged under the umbrella of Industrial Ecology (IE), ensuring the reduction of the environmental deprivation through efficient use of waste and by-products. Over the years, the importance and the application of IS has gained momentous as its mutual benefits were recognised. Further, the research in IS has also been increasingly grown over the past few decades. Various scholarly works can be found on appreciating the evolution and development of the concept in which the specific concerns on the definitions and its reinterpretations of the IS concept have not been unveiled. Thus, the purpose of this research is to understand the evolution of IS concept in line with its definitions and reinterpretations over the last three decades starting from 1989 to 2019. The journal articles published in Web of Science (WoS) related to the term ‘Industrial Symbiosis’ were reviewed to evaluate the pattern and the evolution of publications since its initiation from 1989 to 2019. The results derived through systematic review were analysed using the bibliometric analysis technique. The highly cited journals, evolution of the number of articles and the leading authors in the field of IS were first recognised. Finally, the key aspects that have been considered by research scholars for interpreting the concept of IS were appraised as the main contribution of this study. A clear illustration of the concept of IS is finally produced by re-organising the identified key aspects under three proposed criteria of the network, context and externalities. This study thus provides an overview about the scientific growth of the IS concept at-a-glance and a clear conceptual basis for the researchers to initiate with new research directions.



Journal of cleaner production



Article number



1 - 10




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal