There are already several other bibliographies in the area of DEA which have been reported in the existing literature, e.g. Emrouznejad and Thanassoulis , , , Seiford , , Tavares , Gattoufi et al. , , and Emrouznejad et al. . In this study we searched related articles on SCOPUS (http://www.scopus.com/) and merged them into authors’ dataset that is mainly gathered from the website of www.DEAzone.com. We considered publications until end of 2016. It should be noted that we only included DEA-related articles published in journals. There are about 2,200 articles published as working paper, book chapter or conference proceedings which we did not include them in this study. In total, there are 10,300 DEA-related journal articles reported in this study. List of these articles are available in the supplement to this paper (see Appendix A).
As a worldwide accepted management science and operations research (MS/OR) tool, the evolution of DEA has been tracked here in terms of the increase of numbers of both articles and authors. First, it is obvious from our analysis that DEA is an emerging topic and an essential mathematical tool for measuring efficiency or performance which has received a great number attentions in diversified fields of management science. Second, three stages of the development status of DEA-related articles are detected in our study to demonstrate the tendency of DEA as an “exponential” growth. Third, several traditional MS/OR journals including European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of the Operational Research Society, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Omega and Annals of Operations Research are the most utilized journals for DEA publications, while journal of Socio-Economic Planning Sciences has been identified first choice for DEA papers with applications in the public sector. In total, there are 94% of DEA-related articles have less than 4 authors and about 34% were published by two authors. Energy, industry, banking, educations and healthcare including hospital are found to be the most popular application areas. We detected approximately 11,961 distinct DEA authors and 25,137 distinct keywords in all DEA-related articles in our database, which has also been grown significantly in recent years.
The next section lists a series of selected descriptive statistics involving the numbers and distributions of papers, journals, authors, keywords, as well as pages within our database of DEA-related articles.