Abstract: [Purpose/significance] Based on the research fronts module in ESI database and the research fronts in the field of nutrition selected by domain expert, this paper uses the bibliometrics methods analyzes the competitive advantages of key countries and reveals the contribution and influence of China in the research fronts of global nutrition.[Method/process]By the methods of information retrieval and expert screening, 129 research fronts in the field of nutrition were identified from 9256 ESI research fronts, and these research fronts were divided into 6 research directions. Then, by analyzing the core papers and the citing papers of each group, each country’s share of core papers, share of cited papers and share of cited frequency of core papers were calculated. Finally, based on the above works, the key country’s activity, contribution and impact in the nutrition field were identified. [Result/conclusion] Further analysis of research fronts shows that USA is in a leading position in the field of nutrition. Chinese performance is also significant, but there is still a gap with the United States. Meanwhile, the analysis reveals that there is great potential for China, although the current research development of nutrition in China is not balanced. This Study suggests that the collaborated work between information analysts and domain experts enables a better use of scientometrics. Through the analytical results, we are able to better understand the research status, identify the development trend, demonstrate the competitive advantages of key countries, and accelerate the sustainable development of the studied discipline.
Keywords: ESI research fronts; co-citation; nutrition; bibliometrics analysis; core papers; national competence