DOI: 10.1002/joe.22229 ISSN: 1932-2054

Guidelines for interpreting the results of bibliometric analysis: A sensemaking approach

Weng Marc Lim, Satish Kumar
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Business and International Management


While bibliometric analysis is inherently quantitative and objective, it necessitates interpretation, thereby introducing an element of subjectivity. This article proposes a sensemaking approach that transitions researchers from mere description to proactive interpretation of bibliometric results, transforming raw information into informed insights. We discuss the applicability of sensemaking in bibliometric analysis and offer practical guidelines for its integration into systematic literature reviews. These guidelines revolve around a three‐stage sensemaking process—that is, scanning, sensing, and substantiating—each crucial to deriving meaningful interpretations. As such, this article serves as a valuable guide for researchers seeking to utilize bibliometric analysis as a potent analytical tool in their review studies.

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