A Global Outlook on Disaster Science

An analysis of recent scholarly output and impact in disaster science according to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, aiming to provide insights to governments, research institutions, and funding agencies

Key Findings (2012-2016)


China publishes the most papers in disaster science overall (6,301), as well as on the disaster risk management stage: prevention (4,416)


USA publishes the most papers on disaster risk management stages: preparedness (3,677), response (3,312), and recovery (1,056)


Japan has a high relative research activity index in disaster science (i.e. 0.66% of Japan's research output is in disaster science, three times higher than the share of global output in disaster science, 0.22%)

Death toll versus publications

Countries with the highest death tolls from natural disasters tend to have low volumes of disaster science scholarly output

Economic loss versus publications

Countries with the highest economic losses from the natural disasters tend to have the largest disaster science scholarly output

0.22% of global scholarly output

27,273 recently scholarly publications in disaster science, representing 0.22% of global scholarly output

More than 5,000 publications

More than 5,000 publications on each of the following disaster types: geophysical, meteorological, chemical & radiological, and hydrological

Natural disasters death toll versus disaster science scholarly output & specialization

* Relative Activity Index is calculated by dividing the share of a country's output in a particular field relative to the share of the world's output in that same field. It, therefore, represents how concentrated a country's output is in a particular area relative to the world average. As such, it can be used to analyze specialization.

Sources: Scopus, IFRC 2015 Disaster Report, World Bank, and Taiwan Statistical Data book

Scholarly Output

Disaster science scholarly output overall, by disaster management cycle stage, and by disaster type according to the Sendai Framework; 2012-2016

A paper or publication refers to an article, review, or conference proceeding indexed in the Scopus database. Scholarly output for a country is the count of papers with at least one author from that country.

Source: Scopus

Disaster Science

Most frequent concepts in disaster science relative to the overall frequency of concepts in Scopus; size represents the number of publications containing that concept; shade represents the concept’s relative weight; 2012-2016.

Sources: Scopus and Elsevier Fingerprint Engine™.

Learn more about how our Analytical Services can help give you unique insights, and support your research management strategy: www.elsevier.com/research-intelligence

For more information on our global outlook on Disaster Science, please download our whitepaper.