We conducted text mining analyses on nearly the entirety of academic literature related to food security. Assessing the literature's spatial scope, we found a truly global body of research conducted across 187 different countries, but with significant spatial heterogeneities in where research is conducted. Comparing the spatial distribution of the literature to actual rates of food insecurity, we found only a slight association between where food security research is conducted and where food security needs are located. Using topic modeling to assess the thematic scope of the literature, we found that originally food security research focused on economic policy and global issues, and only later did the literature expand to encompass themes like livelihoods, health, and the environment. This analysis provides the first ever thematic scoping of the entire food security literature and the first assessment of spatial biases in where food security research is conducted.
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© 2020 The Author(s)
Cooper MW, Brown ME, Niles MT, ElQadi MM. Text mining the food security literature reveals substantial spatial bias and thematic broadening over time. Global Food Security. 2020 Sep 1;26:100392.