Trevor Kletz's scholarly legacy: A co-citation analysis

Jie Li, Floris Goerlandt, Genserik Reniers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Dr. Kletz is one the pioneers in the process safety area, known widely for his work on inherent safety design and loss prevention. He worked 38 years in Imperial Chemical Industries, and became a fulltime researcher only after his retirement. He published more than 200 papers and 15 books during his retirement. The intellectual basis analysis presented in this article shows that he frequently cited his books in his articles, indicating that his industrial experience was very influential to his scholarly contributions. Lawley, H.G. was one of the researchers whose work had most influence on Kletz's research. Among Dr. Kletz's publications, the article ‘What You Don't Have, Can't Leak’ has the highest impact, while his most influential book is ‘Process plants: A handbook for inherently safer design’. The references co-citation network is divided in two clearly connected components: his earlier work related to infra-red spectra, and his later work addressing process safety related topics, including inherent safety and hazard and accident analysis. Both his work and that of his followers is rooted in a similar intellectual basis within process safety research, in which particularly Dr. Kletz's earlier work forms an influential original body of knowledge rooted in his industrial experience. His career is a prime example of how process safety research has been strongly influenced by knowledge from industrial practice, illustrating that a continued strong connection between industry and academia can lead to very fruitful outcomes. It is hoped that the presented analysis can inspire especially young graduates with academic interests to first embark on an industrial career to gain industrial experience before aiming to contribute to academic process safety knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104166
JournalJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bibliometrics
  • Citation expansion
  • CiteSpace
  • Co-citation analysis
  • Scientometrics
  • Trevor Kletz

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