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Epigenetics, one of the most rapidly intensifying fields of biological research, explores inheritable gene expression not governed by alterations in the DNA sequence. This article analysed the literature on epigenetics published between 2009 and 2017 using qualitative and visualisation techniques. The data were drawn from Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science Core Collection in January 2018. CiteSpace V software was used to establish an intellectual overview, based on 13,295 scientific articles and review papers. Document co-citations were analysed and a variety of graphics was created. The aim was to define the scope of the field and identify its constituent specialities with automatic procedures based on the keywords and titles in the citing articles in the clusters identified. Ten subspecialities were identified. Field core papers were defined from the co-citation findings, Kleinberg's burst detection algorithm and the structural variation theory metrics calculated for all the articles selected. The findings can be used to acquire an in-depth view of the patterns and trends in place in the domain and identify innovative and potentially transformational studies.
epigenetics; co-citation analysis; structural variation theory; core documents; knowledge domain; citespace; epigenome-wide association; dna methylation; developmental regulators; scientific literatures; author cocitation; chromatin state; gene-expression; research fronts; cpg-islands; cancer