The legacy of elinor ostrom on common forests research assessed through bibliometric analysis

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A bibliometric analysis was performed to evaluate the research on common forest management that were influenced by the seminal work of Elinor Ostrom (Governing the Commons), from 1990 to 2018. This analysis was based on the online database of the Science Citation Index Expanded – Web of Science©. Six main aspects of the retrieved publications were evaluated: (1) publication years; (2) journals; (3) countries (or regions); (4) study approach type; (5) authors; and (6) keywords. This research topic has shown to be relevant all over the world. Authors from 34 different countries have been conducting studies based on Ostrom’s theory. Researchers have addressed this research topic primarily through case studies (approximately 83% of the publications). Among the retrieved literature body, the USA, Ecuador, Slovenia, Tanzania and Bangladesh have presented more than two case studies. All retrieved publications were published in 16 different journals. “Forest Policy and Economics” and “Ecology & Society” were the two most widely used journals to disseminate results. Around 115 different author’s expressions have been used as keywords to describe this subject. The main concepts addressed by the authors were: “Forest Governance”; “Institutional Analysis and Development Framework”; “Property Rights”; “Socio-ecological Systems”; “Community-based Forest Management”; “Co-management”; “Design Principles”; “Institutions”; “Common-pool Resource” and; “Sustainability”. Overall, this framework proved to be effective to evaluate the research trends, conflicting results and knowledge gaps surrounding the theme, and to contribute with researchers and governments on management and decision-making on this domain.




Romanelli, J. P., & Boschi, R. S. (2019). The legacy of elinor ostrom on common forests research assessed through bibliometric analysis. Cerne, 25(4), 332–346.

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