How to check if a scientific field is on the rise or not?
1. Go to webofknowledge.com (it requires institutional access)
2. Search any topic - Ex./ graphene
3. Press analyze results --> choose publication years --> choose bar graph --> choose number of results as 25 (shows the last 25 years)
Here we go: Top panel shows the results for "graphene", which has been rising exponentially in the last decade, and still on the rise!
Bottom panel shows the results for the "superconductor" keyword. This shows that the field of superconductors is more or less saturated, and even maybe going down in the last years.
You can try this on the fields of interest and see how it is going in the big picture
How to find relevant papers related to your research?
This is a simple trick that many people know but still I find it one of the most useful:
- Search a very well know paper in your field in google scholar
- Click 'Cited by ...' on the bottom left of the google scholar entry
- You can search among the papers which cite this well known paper.
This generally helps to find papers that are hard to find just by searching keywords. Sometimes scientists choose weird titles for their papers and makes it hard to access these papers by simple searches with few keywords.
Setting up google scholar alerts (can be done on mendeley or other places as well!)
This one is pretty well-known trick but quite useful one. It helps a lot to stay up to date on specific fields/topics that you are interested in.
You can basically create alerts in your google scholar profile (go to my profile button - top left --> select Alerts --> Create Alert --> define your keyword and how frequent you want to get the updates! --> Done!
Wanna get inspired for your research to align with real world problems? Check out sustainable development goals by United Nations (UN).