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Pisarevskaya, A., Levy, N. & P. Scholten (2019). Mapping Migration Studies: An empirical analysis of the coming of age of a research field.  Available in OA here


Migration studies has developed rapidly as a research field over the past decades. This article provides an empirical analysis not only of the development in volume and the internationalization of the field, but also on the development in terms of topical focus within migration studies over the past three decades. To capture volume, internationalization and topic focus, our analysis involves a bibliometric analysis and a computer-based topic modelling of the landscape of migration studies. Rather than a linear growth path towards an increasingly diversified and fragmented field, as suggested in the literature, this reveals a more complex path of ‘coming of age’ of migration studies. Although there seems to be even an accelerated growth for migration studies in terms of volume, its internationalisation proceeds only slowly. Furthermore, our analysis shows that rather than a growth of diversification of topics within migration topic, we see a shift between various topics within the field. Finally, our study shows that there is no consistent trend to more fragmentation in the field; in contrast, it reveals a recent recovery of connectivity between the topics in the field, suggesting an institutionalisation or even theoretical and conceptual ‘coming of age’ of migration studies.