Research Article

Keywords are missing: Insights from the publication keywords, abstracts and titles of an environment and human health research group

Publication Date:

Authors: Daniel W. Derbyshire, Olivia Barnett-Naghshineh, Bethany R. Roberts, Riadh Ghemmour, Musarrat Maisha Reza, Morwenna Rogers and Lora E. Fleming


Inequalities within academia – and the research outputs of academic – are a widely acknowledged problem. This results in the reproduction of knowledge gaps within academic praxis. The current study presents a case study from an environment and human health research group, looking at the extent to which the research outputs mirror the wider knowledge gaps in the field. We use systematic review search methods to obtain publications for an environment and health research group since 2010. We use a combination of EndNote and VosViewer to analyse the frequency of key words and concepts in the titles, abstracts and keywords of these publications. We retrieved a total of 950 publications between 2010 and 2022. We find significant gaps with respect to key concepts appearing in the titles, abstracts and keywords of publications. We find that terms such as ‘colonisation’ and ‘racism’ are not mentioned at all. We reflect on the production process of academic research with respect to reproducing blind spots within environment and human health research. We discuss our results in the context of calls to make academic research more inclusive.