Territoire et société

Sustainability in the collaborative economy: A bibliometric analysis reveals emerging interest

Ertz, M., Leblanc-Proulx, S., «Sustainability in the collaborative economy: A bibliometric analysis reveals emerging interest», Journal of Cleaner Production 196: 1073-1085, 2018.

The growing field of the collaborative economy is expanding geometrically and little retrospective work on this evolution has been made so far. A number of literature reviews have been focusing on specific business models of the collaborative economy deemed sustainable such as car-sharing, sharing, peer-to-peer business models, crowdsourcing, access-based consumption, community, or specific platforms (e.g. Uber, Airbnb), and some others with broader areas of focus. This paper presents a thorough bibliometric and network analysis combining both Scopus and Web of Science databases that provides fresh new insights into the evolution of the collaborative economy research field and its increasing coverage of sustainability-related topics. A first step identifies 729 published studies and uses bibliometrics to provide a description of the research field. A second stage involves networks analysis to identify influential authors, impactful publications, as well as established and emergent research clusters. A more thorough content analysis identifies key research topics, the attention granted to sustainability, interrelations, and collaboration patterns in the field. Data mapping techniques graphically depict the evolution of publications over time and identify areas of current research interests and potential directions for future research, namely in sustainability.