Background: C-H activation has attracted great interests over the past two decades, which resulted in an explosive growth in both quality and quantity of published papers related to this topic.
Objective: In this review, a bibliometric analysis was performed to evaluate the publications in this field from 1996 to 2015 based on the Science Citation Index (SCI) Expanded database. This work presented a detailed overview of C-H activation from aspects of types of articles, citations, h-indices, languages, years, journals, institutions, countries and author keywords.
Conclusion: The results showed that the USA took the leading position in this research field, followed by P. R. China and German. Chinese Academy of Science had the most publications and the highest h-index, Scripps Research Institute won the first place as far as the highest average citation per paper is concerned. Organometallics, Angewandte Chemie International Edition and Journal of the American Chemical Society were the most productive journals in this field, and Chemistry was the most frequently used subject category. Keywords analysis indicated that most research focused on the Palladium, Rhodium and Copper catalyzed cross-coupling synthetic method development for the heterocycle synthesis. The research about exploring the asymmetric C-H functionalization, mechanism investigation and solving the regioselectivity issue is the development trend in this area.