Conceptual Transformation in the Area of “Social Media”: A Scientometrics Meta-Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran (UT)

2 Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Tehran


“Social Media” has emerged as new phenomenon in the scope of research and academia since 2005. Using Meta-Analysis (Scientometrics Approach) as a research method, the purpose of this study was to review over the past trends of Research & Development (R&D) in the area of “social Media”.

The population of this study was all scientific documents indexed in Web of Science (WoS) databases from 1970 until June 2019 with the keyword of “Social Media” as a subject (all together 40,471 documents with “Social Media” as a subject and 15,038 documents with Social Media” in the Titles).
To find out the conceptual transformation, all collected documents have been divided into three categories based on their frequency: 1-from 2005 to 2011, 2- from 2012 to 2015 and 3- from 2016-2019. The “theme analysis” of the documents in this study shows that a significant conceptual transformation can be highlight in R&D from 2005 to 2019 in the area of “Social Media”.

in addition, even though US, UK, China and other western countries were the first nations who start R&D in the area of “Social Media”, it was noted that especially after 2015, many new and emerging countries like Malaysia, Qatar, Jordan, U.A.E., Pakistan, Kazakhstan and etc. in the developing countries also came to the picture in establishing international R&D networks to also contribute to the body of knowledge in this area.