Bibliometrics and Pentecostal Scholarship: A Review of Trends in Pneuma

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The Society for Pentecostal Studies celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2020. To commemorate the half-century mark, the editors of Pneuma assembled a special issue that included a history of the Society. While the fiftieth-anniversary commemorative volume captured the growth of the Society, absent was a consideration of the impact of Pneuma. As such, the fifty-year anniversary deserves a more quantifiable discussion of the journal’s impact on scholarship. By using a combination of information science and theological reflection, this article offers fresh insights on the journal’s impact in the realm of scholarly publishing. It fleshes out significant theological trends in Pentecostalism covered in its fifty-year history using bibliometrics. An index of all 710 peer-reviewed research articles published from 1978 to 2022 was created. Bibliometrics were used to assess that scholarship’s impact, understand where Pentecostal studies flourished, and uncover possible gaps in Pentecostal research where further study may be needed. Bibliometric research in theological studies acts as a mirror for researchers by quantifiably reflecting trends in Pentecostal research that may have been anecdotally assumed or overlooked altogether. It places possible bias into sharp focus and offers new tools for discussing sensitive research and publication issues such as gender politics, diversity, and inclusivity.