A bibliometric analysis based on the Science Citation Index Expanded from Web of Science was carried out to provide insights into research activities and trends of the environmental monitoring from 1993 to 2012. Study emphases covered publication outputs, language, categories, journals, countries/territories, institutions, words, and hot issues. The results indicated that the annual output of environmental monitoring publications increased steadily. The environmental sciences and analytical chemistry were the two most common categories. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment published the most articles. The USA and the UK ranked in the top two in terms of all five indicators. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took the leading position of the institutions in terms of publication output. The synthesized analysis by words in title, author keywords, and KeyWords Plus provided important clues for hot issues. Researchers paid more attention on water environment monitoring than other environmental factors. The contaminants including organic contaminants, heavy metal, and radiation were most common research focuses, and the organic contaminants and heavy metal of the degree of concern were gradually rising. Sensor and biosensor played an important role in the field of environmental monitoring devices. In addition to conventional device detection method, the remote sensing, GIS, and wireless sensor networks were the mainstream environmental monitoring methods. The international organization, social awareness, and the countries' positive and effective political and policies promoted the published articles.
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