A new paper Published in Frontiers of Psychology: Performance Science directed by Andy Parra Martinez at the University of Arkansas “describes the general status, trends, and evolution of talent identification research in several fields globally over the past 80 years”, drawing on on the Scopus and Web of Science databases and by carrying out a bibliometric analysis of 2,502 documents.
Bibliometric analysis is a way to understand the structure and citation patterns of research around a given topic, in this case talent identification research.
Research on talent identification is concentrated in the fields of business, sports and education.
Talent identification (TI) research is “concentrated in the areas of management, business and leadership (~37%), sports and sports sciences (~20%), and education, psychology and STEM (~23%). While research in management and sports science has occurred independently, research in psychology and education has created a bridge for the pollination of ideas between fields.
From the article: “Data grouped into two main groups of journals. The field of management represented the largest group (in red), including journals related to business, human resource management and administrative sciences. The second large group (green) included journals related to sports science. When there is co-citation between two journals, a link is created between the nodes. The proximity of nodes indicates the degree of relationship between journals, while the co-citation frequency is marked by the strength or thickness of the link. Node size is relative to the number of links to other journals and the frequency of co-citations. For example, the International Journal of Human Resource Management has the highest number of co-citations in the data, followed by Journal of World Business and Human Resource Management Review. These journals share the most links with other journals and a large number of co-citations between them. THE Journal of Sports Science has a strong link with the Journal of Sports Medicine with numerous co-citations between the two journals. It should be noted that there is a bridge between management and the sports centers. The deck is composed primarily of journals in psychology, education, and multidisciplinary research venues. While education and psychology were underrepresented in this network, journals like Frontiers of psychology, Gifted child quarterly, High capacity studies, Psychological bulletinAnd PlS One serve as scientific bridges for IT research in the most productive areas.
From 1943 to 2022 the evolution of research themes in talent identification has changed
1943 to 2000: “During this period, two driving themes were linked to the study of the performance and physical characteristics of young athletes in the field of sport. Keywords related to athlete attributes (e.g., physiology, age factors, physical parameters) and performance (e.g., sports, skills, motivation) were the main TI keywords. Emerging themes, found largely in the fields of education and psychology, focus on the study of intelligence (e.g., gender differences) and the development of expertise.
2001 to 2010: This period “included the study of adolescent characteristics, personnel management, and talent identification and selection models. Performance has become a widely adopted topic in many fields of study. Other core themes included a focus on identification programs for students and athletes. Emerging themes included talent and competitive advantage. Niche themes included researcher specialization in workplace talent (employment and success), validity of identification measures, and determinants of elite talent such as anaerobic power.
2011-2020: “Adolescent development took center stage as a driving theme with emphasis on physiology, sports skills, fitness, early identification and sports like football . Performance was a growing topic in management with emphasis on professional talent, human resources and talent selection.
2021-2022: “Current trends in IT research signal a diversification of research topics into niche, driving, fundamental and emerging areas… Strong driving themes like sports performance in sports science and high general performance in management demonstrates the importance of IT. for the sports industry and the workplace. Talent management has become another driving theme in management and adjacent multidisciplinary fields, including keywords such as human capital, employment talent, retention and career development. Talent identification practices (e.g., selection, maturation, talent, validity) and determinants of anaerobic power continue to be widely studied foundational themes. Notable emerging and niche themes integrate diversity issues (e.g., equity, representation), frameworks for IT, human resource management, and the design of tools and innovations in IT (e.g. identification algorithms, AI, big data).
You can read the full article (free access) here.