This is a really interesting article (17 page PDF) that consists of an automated analysis of some 17,000 research papers in higher education. The researchers identify 31 topics across these publications, and examine how they cluster with each other and wax or wane over time. "We find that scholarly attention to themes varies over time," write the authors, "the field of research on higher education is characterized by constantly occurring struggles over attention between different topics/themes." Meanwhile, "clustering is stable over time... the lack of change in the clustering of topics over time suggests that higher education researchers are ‘stuck on their island’." All of that sounds about right.