Analysis of social, environmental and economic sustainability core: a bibliometric overview. Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2021

start page

  • 356

end page

  • 381


  • 4


  • 15

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1740-8822


  • Sustainability has become a global concern in the 21st century. However, sustainability is an ambivalent concept that can be interpreted in many ways. In the beginning, it was environmentally-related. Later, however, it was linked to social or economic sustainability, which was known as the triple bottom-line or the three-pillar model (social/economic and environmental sustainability). Later, additional dimensions were incorporated, such as institutional, cultural, or even spatial. As a result of the growth and importance of sustainability, this study provides a comprehensive overview of the core of sustainability. With that aim in mind, we will analyse the following aspects of scientific production: volume of scientific output, primary agents involved (countries, institutions), web of science (WoS) categories, collaborations, acknowledgement patterns, and thematic analysis. The findings in this paper suggest an increasing growth in scientific output in all areas of sustainability, albeit with different patterns (e.g., collaboration, specialisation) among the three pillars.


  • Library Science and Documentation


  • environmental sustainability; social sustainability; economic sustainability; sustainability core; bibliometric indicators; sustainability research; research for sustainable development; scientometrics