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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Vol. 25, 2013; Pages: 197 - 204

Mapping research at the intersection of organic farming and bioenergy — A scientometric review

Torsten Siegmeier, Detlev Möller

University of Kassel, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Farm Management, Steinstr. 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany.


Modern bioenergy systems have received growing attention for their potential as a substitute for fossil fuels and are strongly promoted in many regions. At the same time large scale industrialized farming in general and intensive energy cropping in particular are increasingly drawing criticism from various stakeholders. Organic farming systems seem to successfully tackle agricultural sustainability questions at least in regard to ecological dimensions. Still, apart from chemical inputs organic systems are as much dependent on non-renewable energy sources as conventional systems. This article deals with the question whether the topics of organic farming (OF) and bioenergy (BE) are at all combined or addressed in alliance within scientific literature. By means of descriptive scientometric measures the present study analyzes OF- and BE-literature retrieved from Thompson Reuters’ Web of Science database in order to generate insights on development, dynamics, structure and distribution of OF/BE-research literature. Despite possible barriers for research in this interdisciplinary sub-field and its current niche character we conclude that research efforts in OF/BE might be expedient and scientifically rewarding.

Keywords: Biomass energy; Agricultural research; Sustainability; Organic agriculture; Interdisciplinarity; Bibliometrics.

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