Charting past, present, and future research in the semantic web and interoperability

Abderahman Rejeb, John G. Keogh, Wayne Martindale, Damion Dooley, Edward Smart, Steven Simske, Samuel Fosso Wamba, John G. Breslin, Kosala Yapa Bandara, Subhasis Thakur, Kelly Liu, Bridgette Crowley, Sowmya Desaraju, Angela Ospina, Horia Bradau

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Huge advances in peer-to-peer systems and attempts to develop the semantic web have revealed a critical issue in information systems across multiple domains: the absence of semantic interoperability. Today, businesses operating in a digital environment require increased supply-chain automation, interoperability, and data governance. While research on the semantic web and interoperability has recently received much attention, a dearth of studies investigates the relationship between these two concepts in depth. To address this knowledge gap, the objective of this study is to conduct a review and bibliometric analysis of 3511 Scopus-registered papers on the semantic web and interoperability published over the past two decades. In addition, the publications were analyzed using a variety of bibliometric indicators, such as publication year, journal, authors, countries, and institutions. Keyword co-occurrence and co-citation networks were utilized to identify the primary research hotspots and group the relevant literature. The findings of the review and bibliometric analysis indicate the dominance of conference papers as a means of disseminating knowledge and the substantial contribution of developed nations to the semantic web field. In addition, the keyword co-occurrence network analysis reveals a significant emphasis on semantic web languages, sensors and computing, graphs and models, and linking and integration techniques. Based on the co-citation clustering, the Internet of Things, semantic web services, ontology mapping, building information modeling, bioinformatics, education and e-learning, and semantic web languages were identified as the primary themes contributing to the flow of knowledge and the growth of the semantic web and interoperability field. Overall, this review substantially contributes to the literature and increases scholars’ and practitioners’ awareness of the current knowledge composition and future research directions of the semantic web field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number161
Number of pages32
JournalFuture Internet
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022


  • building information modeling
  • bibliometric
  • semantic web
  • interoperability
  • ontology
  • internet of things
  • semantic web services
  • bioinformatics


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