Knowledge propagation in the China field: a bibliometric analysis

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Journal publication has become a norm of knowledge production. Disciplinary relevance, original data, methodological innovation, and research impact have shaped the ways research agenda are constructed and scholarly outputs are assessed. Yet, the difficulties in fieldwork access, the rise of geopolitical tension, the uncertainty in transnational collaboration, and the desirability of contextual understanding, among others, have placed enormous challenges to the resilience and diversity of China studies. This seminar seeks to review what we have achieved to inform where we are heading. It draws on the bibliometrics analysis of more than 75,000 articles in area studies journals from 1956 to 2022. It seeks to answer: What were the changing hot topics in the China field? From which geographic areas and through what methodological approaches were knowledge of China primarily produced? How do historical events, institutional affiliation, and biographical characteristics shape knowledge propagation? How do we measure the research impact of China studies within the field and on other areas and disciplines?

Edmund W. Cheng is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs at the City University of Hong Kong. His research interests include contentious politics, political sociology, political communication, and research methods focusing on East and Southeast Asia. His work has appeared in Political Communication, Political Studies, New Media & Society, Sociological Methodology, Mobilization, China Quarterly, and China Journal. He holds a PhD in Government from the London School of Economics.

Samson Yuen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is a political scientist who researches contentious politics, civil conflicts, public opinion, and health and food politics with a focus on East Asia. His work has appeared in the China Quarterly, Modern China, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Political Studies, Government & Opposition and Sociological Methodology. He holds a DPhil in Politics from Oxford University.


The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Centre on China in the World at ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

Date and Times


Room: Boardroom, Australian Centre on China in the World, Building 188, Fellows Lane The Australian National University, Acton, ACT, 2601 Building 188, Fellow Lane Acton, ACT 2601