A bibliometric review on natural resource accounting during 1995-2014

Natural resource accounting plays a critical role in sustainable utilization and conservation of natural resources. This paper aims to review research progress on natural resource accounting for the period of 1995-2014. The main research methods for this study include bibliometric analysis and social network analysis, covering publications' performances, characteristics of related journals, countries, institutions, authors and keywords. The results show that the total amount of publications on natural resource accounting has increased rapidly since 2001. The most productive journal, country, institution, and author are Journal of Environmental Management, USA, University of California, and Dr. Chen, respectively. All of them have higher academic influence. Meanwhile, natural resources that attract most attentions are water and energy. The six main research methods in this field include mathematic modeling, emergy, exergy, ecological footprint (EF), life cycle assessment (LCA) and material flow analysis (MFA).Reasons for the prominent performance of key countries and institutions are then discussed and uncovered, as well as for six methods. Finally, suggestions on how to further promote the development of this research field are raised.