CiteSpace: Visualizing Patterns and Trends in Scientific Literature

Chaomei Chen


Download CiteSpace

Download CiteSpace





Java Runtime (JRE)

Java Runtime (JRE) is required to run CiteSpace. Install the JRE that matches to your system. If you have a 32-bit system, you need to install the JRE for Windows x86. If you have a 64-bit system, install the JRE for Windows x64. CiteSpace is currently optimized for Windows 64-bit with Java 8. You can use 64-bit versions on your 32-bit computer. It may not be optimal, but perhaps good enough. Download Java JRE 64-bit / Windows x64


Memory or RAM

You should have at least 1024MB (=1GB) of memory on your computer.


How to Use CiteSpace

This is an eBook on how to use CiteSpace, especially for beginners and users at the intermediate level, although it is certainly valuable for users across all levels of proficiency with CiteSpace. The eBook will be updated to reflect new releases of the software.



You may install Java on your Mac with Homebrew, a package manager for macOS.
To install Homebrew, enter the following in a terminal window:
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
To install Java with Homebrew:
brew cask install java


CiteSpace is a self-signed Java application. You may need to adjust your Java security settings on your computer to allow self-signed applications such as CiteSpace to run on your computer. Here is a step-by-step guide of how to do it on Mac.

A shell script for launching CiteSpace is included in the CiteSpace package: At the command prompt in a terminal on your Mac, type: sh, then follow the prompt.



CiteSpace supports bibliographic and citation data retrieved from major sources such as the Web of Science, Scopus, Dimensions, CNKI, CSSCI, and a few other sources. Some of them require a format conversion using the built-in converters in CiteSpace. A generic user-defined converter is available to convert data files in CSV file.

The data files for visual analytic processes in CiteSpace must follow the naming convention: the filename must start with ‘download’ and end with “.txt”. Major functions in CiteSpace require your data files contain cited references. If your data files do not have cited references, you may still use functions that do not involve citations, for example, networks of keywords or noun phrases.

A few demo projects along with corresponding data files are provided as part of the package.



Geographical Distributions of CiteSpace Users



If you have problems, comments, and/or suggestions related to CiteSpace, please get in touch via the CiteSpace page on SourceForge.


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Updated: October 25, 2019