Being updated with new ideas in many research fields is impossible, seen the diversity of research topics and the strong relations that exists between them. Most of the researchers in the world, are needing to interact with many fields and to be up to date with the trending ideas in each one of them.

Example: if one researcher is specialized in remote-sensing. Being up to date in this field is possible with some effort. But, this field is related to many other fields ( computer vision, image processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence..). Any new idea in any of these fields could directly impact remote sensing as well. The problem is that this researcher cannot cope with the high speed changes that occurs in these fields.

This example is applicable to many cases as well. And many of you are facing the same situation.

I am in the beginning of my PhD, my thesis interact with many research fields. I have to summarizes the trending ideas in many fields to conclude the state of the art of my thesis. Following the traditional method by accessing the literature of each field may out passes the goal of my thesis.

I want to know if there is a mean to know the trending research ideas in one research topic and the statistics related to them that are gaining some interest.

Is there any mean to track advancement in a research field?

  • 1
    First you should answer a different question: what problem are you trying to solve through trending tools? Discover what is hot so you can jump on it? Well, if it is trending, it is already too late. Find new ideas of interest to you? Well, an automated tool has no idea what will happen to catch your fancy or dovetail with what is going on in your head. Read broadly in journals in your field(s), go to conferences, brainstorm with colleagues. Automated tools can help with very focused questions, and even then there will be caveats.
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 2, 2016 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


There is no easy way:

First step would be to talk to your advisor.

Second step would be to look at recent issues of the main journals in your field.

Third step would be to attend some of the main conferences in your field, listen to the talks and talk to the people.

After that you make up your mind what your opinion the trending issues are, and repeat steps 1 and 2 (and maybe 3) to try to confirm that.

  • Some people said that there is some online visual tool that track in a visual manner the main tags that are gaining interest in any field. Is it true?
    – ProEns08
    Mar 2, 2016 at 8:50
  • What do you think about the tools provided by elsevier: elsevier.com/research-intelligence . Did you try them.
    – ProEns08
    Mar 2, 2016 at 10:32
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    those tools may help, but beware what goes into those tools. e.g. is elsevier only tracking stuff hapening in its own journals or does the algorithm favor publications in its own journals... In the end there is no supstitute for doing the work yourself. Mar 2, 2016 at 11:27

I'd hardly say it is easy, or even possible, in any field to keep up with mounds of new research.

However, I find it best to narrow down your area of research as much as possible. Find a few niches within your field, and become an expert on those; I have found that much easier to keep up with. Anything outside of that is usually useless toe anyway.

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