Top 10 trending research areas

Research outcomes are often calculated from the number of publications and their citation frequency. The number of articles published in a subject area does not mean the significance and applicability of the research work. However, it has been observed that about 10% of total published research articles are transformed and reachable to society. Considering the same, the ScienceDirect database was reviewed to compute the top 10 trending research areas in the life sciences.

ScienceDirect is the world’s largest research database, containing over 18 million articles. A maximum number of research articles (212,608) is in the health sciences in the last two years. Based on the number of publications, ‘life sciences’ is on the second level with 203,541 research articles. The Physical Sciences and Engineering (123,112) and Social Sciences and Humanities (4474) are in the third and last level, respectively.

The current analysis and review showed the following top 10 trending research areas in the life sciences.

1. Environmental Science

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary fast-growing research domain in the world. More than 20% of research articles published in the Environmental Science domain are in 2020 and 2021. In the last two years, more than 16% of total research papers published in ScienceDirect are from Environmental Science (33,545). Research in environmental science includes all aspects of the physical and biological environment making it wider and multidimensional. It encompasses environmental chemistry, biology, earth sciences, geography, climatology, soil science, ecology, environmental management, and pollution handling. The research in this field is highly demanding and useful for society.

2. Medicine and Dentistry

Based on the number of research articles ‘medicine and dentistry’ is number one. More than 22% of the total research articles published in life sciences are by the medicine and dentistry discipline (45,876) in the last two years. However, about 12% of research articles published in medicine and dentistry are in 2020 and 2021. Advancement in clinical development has little less limitation in terms of research funding is a concern. Due to more funding, it has a large number of research papers and projects throughout the world. In terms of a career, this field is highly suitable.

3. Biochemistry, Genetics, and Molecular Biology

Based on the number of publications, biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology are on the third level in the life sciences domain. This subject area has contributed 28,022 research articles in the last two years, about 14% of the total research papers in life sciences. Research in the field of biological molecules and their interactions is crucial to understanding the functions and limitations of our bodies. Several advancements have been observed since the 1990s including applications and understanding of biological tools. Job opportunities after research in this field are very few in most developing countries.

4. Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Agricultural and Biological Sciences has published 27,883 research articles in the last two years. In terms of outcomes, this subject domain is very close to biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology. This subject domain is wide and has direct application to society. It encompasses biotechnology, microbiology, agro-sciences, cell and molecular biology, genetics, etc. This branch of science has more careers in academia than in industry.

5. Materials Science

About 10% of total research publications in life sciences come from material science (20,405). Material science is an interdisciplinary field of study of materials. Recent research in material science includes modifications of properties of materials and their applications for various social benefits and development. Recently, research in nanoparticles has contributed to several research articles. This field offers excellent career opportunities in both industry and academia.

6. Engineering

Many research publications in life science are also from engineering streams such as bioengineering and genetic engineering. In the last two years, engineering has contributed about 10% of the total publications in life sciences. Research in this area is highly diverse, focusing on applying engineering principles and innovative techniques to understand life sciences. It has slightly fewer career opportunities than other life sciences fields.

7. Social Sciences

‘Social sciences’ is on the 7th level based on the number of research articles in the life sciences domain with 17,784 publications in ScienceDirect.It is an interdisciplinary field of study that addresses the ethical, legal, political, economic, and social issues arising from the advancement and development of new techniques. After researching social sciences, it has a great opportunity to work with a nonprofit organization.

8. Chemistry

In the chemistry section, the total research articles are 15,692 contributing about 8% of total research articles in life sciences. It is one of the creative disciplines of science, popularly known as ‘central science’ which includes the study of composition, structure, chemical reactions, and properties of matter. After a research degree in chemistry, they can have a great opportunity to work with industries including pharmaceutical research and development.

9. Energy

In the last two years, 13,460 research articles have been published and deposited in ScienceDirect ranking 9th based on the number of publications. It involves understanding the availability and limitations of energy resources and exploring alternative options for future use. Research and development in renewable energy are urgently needed to meet societal demands. A researcher with expertise in energy has a good career in energy exploration teams and academia.

10. Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmaceutical Science

The subject category of ‘Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmaceutical Science’ is in 10th position in the top 10 trending research areas in life sciences. This subject domain has contributed 12,754 research articles in the last two years in life sciences. Research in drug discovery, applicability, and consequences on life is an important scientific domain that plays a critical role in improving the clinical system of the world. This has a great research and development career, especially in the pharmaceutical industry with a good salary.

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