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Patterns and evolution of coauthorship in China’s humanities and social sciences

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This paper examined the coauthorship patterns of China’s humanities and social sciences (HSS), based on articles and reviews covered by the Social Science Citation Index and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index of the Web of Science. We defined four types of coauthorship as: no collaboration (NOC), national collaboration (NAC), bilateral international collaboration (BIC) and multilateral international collaboration (MIC), and proposed the development phases of China’s HSS as: 1978–1991, 1992–2000 and 2001–present. Accordingly, we explored the evolution of coauthorship patterns by a number of metrics. Findings include: (1) the coauthorship patterns of China’s HSS significantly evolved from NOC to NAC, BIC and MIC; (2) China’s major collaborators had not significantly varied over the past decade, in which USA had always taken the lead (among every four HSS articles of China, one was collaborated with USA); (3) pic (percentage of internationally coauthored articles) was negatively correlated to pnc (percentage of not cited articles); (4) MIC is 1.5 times the CPP (citation per publication) of BIC, 3 times of NAC and 4 times of NOC. Chinese government has been eagerly promoting economic development through science and technology. However, after over 30 years’ growth miracle, Chinese government realized that China’s HSS had been overshadowed, and then initiated prosperity plannings.

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We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71203193). We also thank Ms. Alice M. Tan and Dr. Star X. Zhao for data collection, and anonymous reviewers for helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Jiang Li.

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Li, J., Li, Y. Patterns and evolution of coauthorship in China’s humanities and social sciences. Scientometrics 102, 1997–2010 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-014-1471-8

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  • Coauthorship
  • Scientific collaboration
  • China
  • Humanities and social sciences
  • Bibliometric analysis