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A bibliometric analysis was applied in this work to evaluate global scientific production of data mining papers of the science citation index (SCI), which was compiled by Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Philadelphia, USA. The published output analysis showed that data mining research steadily increased over the past 20 years and the annual paper production in 2007 was about three times that in 1999. The analytical results eventually lead to several key findings. Several author keywords became the focus in the last few years, and might be a new research direction in the future. There are clear distinctions among author keywords used in publications from the five most productive countries (USA, China, Germany, England and Canada) in data mining research. Bibliometric methods could quantitatively characterize the development of global scientific production in a specific research field.