, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp 1141–1166 | Cite as

A scientometric analysis of the effectiveness of Taiwan’s educational research projects

  • Yuen-Hsien Tseng
  • Chun-Yen Chang
  • M. Shane Tutwiler
  • Ming-Chao Lin
  • James P. Barufaldi


The seeking of evidence for revealing the research performance of Education in Taiwan, in response to the stimulus by the national research projects, is presented and interpreted. More than 70,000 publication records over the years 1990–2011 from Web of Science were downloaded and analyzed. The overview analysis by data aggregation and country ranking shows that Taiwan has significantly improved its publication productivity and citation impact over the last decade. The drill-down analysis based on journal bibliographic coupling, information visualization, and diversity and trend indexes, reveals that e-Learning and Science Education are two fast growing subfields that attract global interests and that Taiwan is among the top-ranked countries in these two fields in terms of research productivity. Implications of the analysis are discussed with an emphasis on the subfield characteristics from which more insightful interpretations can be obtained, such as the regional or cultural characteristics that may affect the performance ranking.


Journal clustering Subfield identification Research evaluation Performance ranking Educational research 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and helpful suggestions. This work is supported in part by the “Aim for the Top University Project” of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, ROC. This work is also supported in part by the National Science Council (NSC) of Taiwan under the grant NSC 100-2511-S-003-053-MY2.


  1. Ahlgren, P., & Jarneving, B. (2008). Bibliographic coupling, common abstract stems and clustering: A comparison of two document–document similarity approaches in the context of science mapping. Scientometrics, 76(2), 273–290. doi: 10.1007/s11192-007-1935-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Archambault, É., Vignola-Gagne, É., Côté, G., Larivière, V., & Gingras, Y. (2006). Benchmarking scientific output in the social sciences and humanities: The limits of existing databases. Scientometrics, 68(3), 329–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Calkins, S. (1983). The new merger guidelines and the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. California Law Review, 71(2), 402–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chang, D.-f., Wu, C.-t., Ching, G., & Tang, C.-w. (2009). An evaluation of the dynamics of the plan to develop first-class universities and top-level research centers in Taiwan. Asia Pacific Education Review, 10(1), 47–57. doi: 10.1007/s12564-009-9010-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Colman, A. M., Garner, A. B., & Jolly, S. (1992). Research performance of United Kingdom university psychology departments. Studies in Higher Education, 17(1), 97–103. doi: 10.1080/03075079212331382796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Edgar, F., & Geare, A. (2011). Factors influencing university research performance. Studies in Higher Education, 1–19. doi:  10.1080/03075079.2011.601811.
  7. ERIC. (2012). Search & Browse the Thesaurus. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from
  8. Franceschet, M., & Costantini, A. (2011). The first Italian research assessment exercise: A bibliometric perspective. [Article]. Journal of Informetrics, 5(2), 275–291. doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2010.12.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Geuna, A., & Martin, B. R. (2003). University research evaluation and funding: An international comparison. Minerva, 41(4), 277–304. doi: 10.1023/ Scholar
  10. Hirschman, A. O. (1964). The paternity of an index. The American Economic Review, 54(5), 761.Google Scholar
  11. Hou, A.-C., Ince, M., & Chiang, C.-L. (2012). A reassessment of Asian pacific excellence programs in higher education: the Taiwan experience. Scientometrics, 92(1), 23–42. doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0727-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huang, M. H., & Chang, Y. W. (2008). Characteristics of research output in social sciences and humanities: From a research evaluation perspective. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(11), 1819–1828. doi: 10.1002/asi.20885.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Huang, M. H., Chang, H. W., & Chen, D. Z. (2006). Research evaluation of research-oriented universities in Taiwan from 1993 to 2003. Scientometrics, 67(3), 419–435. doi: 10.1556/Scient.67.2006.3.6.Google Scholar
  14. Kessler, M. M. (1963). Bibliographic coupling between scientific papers. American Documentation, 14(1), 10–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kleiweg, P. (2008). Software for Dialectometrics and Cartography. Retrieved December 31, 2008, from
  16. Kruskal, J. B. (1997). Multidimensional scaling and other methods for discovering structure. In K. Enslein, A. Ralston, & H. S. Wilf (Eds.), Statistical methods for digital computers (pp. 296–339). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  17. Linmans, A. J. M. (2010). Why with bibliometrics the Humanities does not need to be the weakest link—Indicators for research evaluation based on citations, library holdings, and productivity measures. Scientometrics, 83(83), 337–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liston-Heyes, C., & Pilkington, A. (2004). Inventive concentration in the production of green technology: A comparative analysis of fuel cell patents. Science and Public Policy, 31(1), 15–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ministry of Education. (2005). Normal University Transformation Project. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from
  20. Ministry of Education. (2006). Plan to Develop First-class Universities and Top-level Research Centers. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from
  21. Moed, H. F. (2005). Citation analysis in research evaluation. The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  22. Moed, H. F., Burger, W. J. M., Frankfort, J. G., & Van Raan, A. F. J. (1985). The use of bibliometric data for the measurement of university-research performance. Research Policy, 14(3), 131–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. National Taiwan Normal University. (2005). Database of Research in Science Education. Retrieved April 1, 2011, from
  24. Ni, C., & Sugimoto, C. R. (2011, October 9–12). Four-facets study of scholarly communities: artifact, producer, concept, and gatekeeper. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, New Orleans, LA, USA.Google Scholar
  25. OCLC. (2012). Dewey Decimal Classification summaries. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from
  26. Rousseeuw, P. J. (1987). Silhouettes: A graphical aid to the interpretation and validation of cluster analysis. Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics, 20, 53–65. doi: 10.1016/0377-0427(87)90125-7.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Salton, G. (1989). Automatic text processing: The transformation, analysis, and retrieval of information by computer. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  28. Shin, J. (2009). Building world-class research university: The brain Korea 21 project. Higher Education, 58(5), 669–688. doi: 10.1007/s10734-009-9219-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Simpson, E. H. (1949). Measurement of diversity. Nature, 163, 688.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Small, H. G., & Koenig, M. E. D. (1977). Journal clustering using a bibliographic coupling method. Information Processing and Management, 13(5), 277–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Song, M–. M., & Tai, H–. H. (2007). Taiwan’s responses to globalisation: Internationalisation and questing for world class universities. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 27(3), 323–340. doi: 10.1080/02188790701594067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Spencer, R. W. (2012). Representing Trees with Dendrograms. Retrieved July 25, 2012, from
  33. TELDAP. (2008). Preface, Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program (TELDAP). Retrieved February 28, 2011, from
  34. Tseng, Y.-H. (2010). Generic title labeling for clustered documents. Expert Systems with Applications, 37(3), 2247–2254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tseng, Y.-H., & Chang, C.-Y. (2010). Ranking of Taiwan’s educational publications during 2005–2009. Evaluation Bimonthly, 28, 42–45.Google Scholar
  36. Tseng, Y.-H., & Lin, Y.-I. (2011). The application of content mining techniques to the analysis of educational evaluation research trends. Journal of Research in Education Sciences, 56(1), 129–166.Google Scholar
  37. Tseng, Y.-H., Lin, Y.-I., Lee, Y–. Y., Hung, W.-C., & Lee, C.-H. (2009). A comparison of methods for detecting hot topics. Scientometrics, 81(1), 73–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tseng, Y.-H., Lin, C.-J., & Lin, Y.-I. (2007). Text mining techniques for patent analysis. Information Processing and Management, 43(5), 1216–1247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tseng, Y.-H., & Tsay, M.-Y. Journal clustering of library and information science for subfield delineation using the bibliometric analysis toolkit: CATAR. Scientometrics (in press).Google Scholar
  40. Van Eck, N. J., & Waltman, L. (2009). VOSviewer: A computer program for bibliometric mapping. Paper presented at the the 12th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Google Scholar
  41. Van Eck, N. J., & Waltman, L. (2010). Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping. Scientometrics, 84(2), 523–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Van Leeuwen, T. N., Moed, H. F., Tijssen, R. J. W., Visser, M. S., & Van Raan, A. F. J. (2001a). Language biases in the coverage of the Science Citation Index and its consequences for international comparisons of national research performance. Scientometrics, 51(1), 335–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Van Leeuwen, T. N., Van der Wurff, L. J., & Van Raan, A. F. J. (2001b). The use of combined bibliometric methods in research funding policy. Research Evaluation, 10(3), 195–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vanecek, J., Fatun, M., & Albrecht, V. (2010). Bibliometric evaluation of the FP-5 and FP-6 results in the Czech Republic. Scientometrics, 83(1), 103–114. doi: 10.1007/s11192-009-0028-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zitt, M., & Bassecoulard, E. (1998). Internationalization of scientific journals: A measurement based on publication and citation scope. Scientometrics, 41(1–2), 255–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuen-Hsien Tseng
    • 1
  • Chun-Yen Chang
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. Shane Tutwiler
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ming-Chao Lin
    • 4
  • James P. Barufaldi
    • 6
  1. 1.Information Technology Center, National Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipei, 106Taiwan, Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipei, 116Taiwan, Republic of China
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Science Education, National Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipei, 116Taiwan, Republic of China
  4. 4.Science Education Center, National Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipei, 106Taiwan, Republic of China
  5. 5.Graduate School of Education, Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  6. 6.Center for STEM Education, The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations