Toward internationalization: a bibliometric analysis of the social sciences in Mainland China from 1979 to 2018
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionZhang, L., Shang, Y., Huang, Y. & Sivertsen, G. (2020). Toward internationalization: a bibliometric analysis of the social sciences in Mainland China from 1979 to 2018. Quantitative Science Studies. 10.1162/qss_a_00102
The past 40 years have witnessed profound changes in the international competitiveness of Mainland China’s scientific research. Based on publication data from Chinese researchers in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) from the Web of Science (WoS), this study aims to provide a bird’s-eye view of how social science research in Mainland China has internationalized over the past four decades. The findings show that the number of social science articles published by Chinese authors in international journals has experienced a noticeable increase, and the collaboration networks of researchers from Mainland China have broadened, with the number of articles with a Chinese first author showing a strong upward trend. In addition, findings show that Chinese scholars are published in a wider range of journals, and there has been a steady increase in their appearance in higher impact journals (influenced in part by certain journals). Finally, different social science disciplines show various degrees of internationalization. This study provides a broad view from which to examine the internationalization process in Mainland China’s social science landscape in the last four decades, while also noting some of the possible explanations for these changes, thereby deepening our understanding of social science research stemming from the region.