Google Trends allows you to see how the interest in search keywords is building up. Something like this would be very useful for scientific papers. For example, a young researcher could look at the latest scientific trends to select hot topics of research.

The sad thing is that Google Trends does not work for scientific content. Just try searching your favourite topic there, it won't hit any results if it is slightly sophisticated.

Is there a tool like Google Trends, that crawls scientific papers to detect hot trends?

It could be a web app, or a desktop app, I don't mind. Although if desktop, ideally it should run on Linux. Obviously the app will need to have online access.

2 Answers 2


I am interested in this topic myself.

You can get a long way by searching other literature databases, and by using the Stackexchange data explorer.

Recently I have counted the frequency of publications, or how often users searched for this term over the years.

If you are in IT or computer science, you can use the Stackexchange data explorer. It has visualization built in.

Or -if you work in medicine- use Literature databases like PubMed for this.

IT / CompSci

For Semantic Web, SPARQL, RDF and related terms it looks like this.

enter image description here

Medicine / Virology

Although I don't work in Health, for some terms I have created this myself, with predictions.

Genome analysis methods

Microarray analysis (mic) is a 'cooling' research topic, whereas "Next generation sequencing" (ngs) is a 'hot' topic.



Search number of puplications with title-keywords.

"Influenza", "COVID-19" pandemic, the "MERS" outbreak from 2013 and the 2003 SARS outbreak:


The before 2020 COVID-19 was unknown, but in 2020, 60000 papers have been published. Extremely hot trend. Off the scale! Sadly, predicting is impossible here.


Not papers. Books

The "Google Books Ngram Viewer" is also great for looking into past trends of the last centuries.

See this for trends of the 1980s, from the environmental realm:

Becquerel, lead-free, acid-rain-damage, nuclear fuel processing plant (in German, sorry)

ngram viewer


Google Scholar has a search feature to search scientific papers for certain terms. I use Google Scholar to email me titles of papers on certain subjects. You can use it to get counts as well. Just google 'Google Scholar search' to learn all about it.

  • I am looking for something more sophisticated, that offers some kind of analysis and predictions about future hot trends.
    – a06e
    Sep 29, 2017 at 19:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.