A Scientometric Analysis of Supplier Selection Research

Document Type : Review Paper


1 Department of Industrial Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Institute for Management and Planning Studies, Tehran, Iran


Supplier selection (SS) is a decision-making process by which potential suppliers can be identified, evaluated, and ranked. Thus, multiple types of financial resources are used that can significantly contribute to the success of a firm. This study offers a broad view of SS publications from 1973 to 2019 through scientometric analysis recruiting Scopus, the Elsevier’s abstract and citation database, as a primary search engine. The documents are also statistically classified in terms of different criteria. The research results indicate that publications have considerably grown over the past few years. Moreover, the most influential countries, institutions, journals, papers, authors, and collaborations in the field of SS literature are identified. Besides, the most-cited papers are thoroughly discussed. Finally, keywords are analyzed and hot research topics are presented. This study hopes to bring awareness to researchers, journal editors, and industries in future efforts.

Graphical Abstract

A Scientometric Analysis of Supplier Selection Research


  • Applying scientometric methods to provide clear insight into the supplier selection articles from 1973 to 2019
  • Detecting main trends in SS literature as the first research of its kind
  • Classifying leading actors under authors, papers, journals, affiliations, and countries of origin
  • Presenting the views and tendencies of the leading researchers working with supplier selection
  • Illustrating co-authorship relations and collaboration status


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