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A review of the trend of microlearningPurpose Microlearning has been considered as a promising topic in work-based learning. This paper aims to review the trends of microlearning in terms of related publications and internet searches. Hopefully, the findings can serve as a reference for the education sector, government, business and academia, to promote, design and use microlearning. Design/methodology/approach In this study, two sets of analysis were conducted. Firstly, we analysed the publication trend of microlearning. Second, we analysed the trend of internet searches related to microlearning. More specifically, we analysed 14-years real-world data obtained from Scopus and Google Trends for the purpose. These data include the first relevant publication found in the database. Findings In total, 476 relevant publication have been identified during 2006 to 2019. According to the findings from analysing the identified publications, microlearning is a relevant new and emerging global topic involving authors, affiliations and funding sponsors from different countries. Moreover, many microlearning related publications were conducted from perspectives of elearning or mobile learning. Furthermore, we notice higher education was the most frequently mentioned education level in the identified publications. On the other hand, language learning (i.e. second language, vocabulary learning) had been mentioned more times in the titles and abstracts then other subject areas. Overall, the increasing trend of publications on ‘microlearning’ (as a knowledge supply) is in line with the established increasing internet searches of ‘microlearning’ (as a practical demand) in recent years. Practical implications From the work-based learning perspective, microlearning has been considered as one of the key topics in talent development topics. Policymakers, educators, researchers and participators, have the responsibility to explore how to promote, design and use microlearning to help people to learn in the right direction through valid knowledge with ethical consideration. Originality/value Although many works had been done on microlearning, there is a lack of comprehensive studies reviewing the trends of microlearning in terms of related publications and internet searches. This study aims to fill this gap by analysing real-world data obtained from Scopus and Google Trends - these data include the first relevant publication found in the database. We believe this is the first time that a study has been conducted to comprehensively review the development trends of microlearning. Hopefully, this study can shed some light on related research.