The Bibliometric Studies in the Field of Ibero-American Psychology: A Metabibliometric Review

Miguel Gallegos, Andrés M. Pérez-Acosta, Hugo Klappenbach, Wilson López López, Claudia Bregman

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Bibliometry consists on the mathematical and statistical treatment of published scientific information. This methodology, or technique (following some authors), includes the quantification of bibliographic information that can be analyzed. Bibliometric and qualitative data reviews can be combined in order to offer high-quality conclusions. For more than three decades, bibliometric studies have proliferated with different uses, orientations, and applications in Ibero-American psychology. All the classic areas of psychology (basic psychological processes, clinical and health psychology, organizational and work psychology, educational psychology), as well as new areas, such as sports psychology, traffic psychology, consumer psychology, and others have been subject of bibliometric works. Several productions can be recognized where bibliometry is used for historical analysis, review of specialized literature, scientific journals analysis, and the recognition of different areas of research. The goal of this work is to provide a metabibliometric analysis, that is, a bibliometry of bibliometric studies. It is a descriptive study in which different documentary sources are retrieved, classified, and analyzed based on the proper procedure of bibliometric studies. This study examined the scientific and scholarly productions in the field of Ibero-American psychology, using three specific databases: Dialnet (Spain), Redalyc (Mexico), and SciELO (Brazil). The choice of such databases was because they provide the indexation of a large number of psychology journals and also allow free access to their contents, which gives some coverage to the psychological production of the Ibero-American region. The search was guided by the following general descriptors: “Bibliometric” and “Psychology”, present in any of the search fields of these databases. These two words are functionally equivalent to detect items in Spanish and Portuguese (because all articles have abstracts in English). Interdisciplinary studies were ruled out, and those clearly outside of psychological science or the profession of psychology. The final refined sample of 81 articles were classified according to the following indicators: a) lines of research; b) more frequent authors; c) countries of the authors; d) range of years of publications; e) language of the publications; f) gender in the writing of the works; g) the journals that published the most bibliometric studies; and h) the most analyzed journals from the bibliometric perspective. The vast majority of articles are from the present century (70), which highlights the recent explosion of work in the field. For reference only, eight articles were published in the 1990s, 34 articles were published in the 2000s, and 36 articles were published in the current half-decade. The language of the articles is distributed as follows: 71 in Spanish (88 %), 5 in English (6 %), and 5 in Portuguese (6 %). The proportion by gender of correspondence authors reflects that 40 % are women (33 articles), and 60 % are men (48 articles), always considering the first signatory in cases of multiple authorship. The countries according to the correspondence author, taking the first author in the cases of multiple authors-hips, are: Spain (45), Colombia (15), Argentina (6), Brazil (5), Mexico (4), Chile (3), Peru (2) and Costa Rica (1). Results confirm that the bibliometric research design is a consistent methodological approach to evaluate the field of psychology as a discipline and a professional practice in Ibero-America. These results do not reflect the entire set of bibliometric research in Ibero-American psychology. However, they can also be considered as a representative map of bibliometric studies in the region. The most significant criticism that can be indicated for these bibliometric studies is the abusive descriptive perspective that appears in them. It would be desirable for this kind of research to incorporate other analytical perspectives to go beyond the purely descriptive, which could obtain greater interpretative and explanatory potential regarding what was investigated

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-115
Number of pages21
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 5 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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