Journal of Foreign Language Education and Technology

Mapping Vocabulary Research

Abstract

Paul Meara

This paper illustrates how a bibliometric method known as co-citation
analysis can help novice researchers find their way around a large research field. The
method is illustrated using bibliographical data from a set of 100 papers in the area of
L2 vocabulary acquisition. This is an area of research which has mushroomed in the
last 20 years. The paper shows how a fairly accurate picture of current priorities in
this field can be built up from relatively small amounts of bibliographical data, and
suggests how beginning researchers might be able to use the approach to inform
their own work.

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