DOI: 10.1111/jnu.12954 ISSN: 1527-6546

Big data research in nursing: A bibliometric exploration of themes and publications

Bo Li, Kun Du, Guanchen Qu, Naifu Tang
  • General Nursing



To comprehend the current research hotspots and emerging trends in big data research within the global nursing domain.


Bibliometric analysis.


The quality articles for analysis indexed by the science core collection were obtained from the Web of Science database as of February 10, 2023.The descriptive, visual analysis and text mining were realized by CiteSpace and VOSviewer.


The research on big data in the nursing field has experienced steady growth over the past decade. A total of 45 core authors and 17 core journals around the world have contributed to this field. The author's keyword analysis has revealed five distinct clusters of research focus. These encompass machine/deep learning and artificial intelligence, natural language processing, big data analytics and data science, IoT and cloud computing, and the development of prediction models through data mining. Furthermore, a comparative examination was conducted with data spanning from 1980 to 2016, and an extended analysis was performed covering the years from 1980 to 2019. This bibliometric mapping comparison allowed for the identification of prevailing research trends and the pinpointing of potential future research hotspots within the field.


The fusion of data mining and nursing research has steadily advanced and become more refined over time. Technologically, it has expanded from initial natural language processing to encompass machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and data mining approach that amalgamates multiple technologies. Professionally, it has progressed from addressing patient safety and pressure ulcers to encompassing chronic diseases, critical care, emergency response, community and nursing home settings, and specific diseases (Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, etc.). The convergence of IoT, cloud computing, fog computing, and big data processing has opened new avenues for research in geriatric nursing management and community care. However, a global imbalance exists in utilizing big data in nursing research, emphasizing the need to enhance data science literacy among clinical staff worldwide to advance this field.

Clinical Relevance

This study focused on the thematic trends and evolution of research on the big data in nursing research. Moreover, this study may contribute to the understanding of researchers, journals, and countries around the world and generate the possible collaborations of them to promote the development of big data in nursing science.

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