A retrospective analysis of scientific publications on the deep sea from 1987 to 2016

Abstract: The deep sea remains the least known biome. Despite this fact, anthropic activities have affected these regions in various ways. The objective of this study was to outline the scientific production scenario based on deep sea research and to analyze trends present in the literature. For this, the bibliographical resources available from the Web of Science (WoS) were surveyed. Between 1987 and 2016, 11,079 articles on the deep sea were published. Growth was over 100% from the first to second decade and 75% from the second to third. The most productive countries were the USA, Germany, France, England and Japan. Of the 404 journals that published articles on the deep sea, 10% accounted for approximately 60% of the total published articles. The keyword with the highest occurrence was “diversity”. In the first two decades, the keywords with the greatest “strength” were related to research on mining, especially for hydrocarbons. The description of new species and the analysis of the effects of climate change appear to be emerging trends in deep sea research. Mining continues to be primarily responsible for driving the development of deep sea research.