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How is the development of library and information science in China?

Weijie Zhu (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 31 August 2023




The research in this paper aims to investigate the development of Library and Information Science in Chinese universities. Specifically, it focuses on understanding the spatial and temporal aspects of subject knowledge output and providing a more comprehensive explanation of the imbalance in subject research.


This study applies the bibliometric method to analyze 131,112 papers published by 51 universities in mainland China from 1977 to 2021, as recorded in the Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index (CSSCI). The study classifies the evolution trends of the discipline and quantifies the published article data of the universities using the index of published articles. Additionally, it examines the development status, structural situation, influencing factors and prospects of universities in different categories and regions.


The field of Library and Information Science is gaining momentum in Chinese universities, but there are significant differences in its development. While the relative gap among universities in a regional context is diminishing, the absolute gap in the category perspective is increasing. The development of Library and Information Science is influenced by various factors, including the academic environment, geographical position, scientific research projects and academic traditions. The uneven development of the discipline is maintained in the short term.


This paper proposes a new quantitative index of discipline development, the university publication index. This index allows for an examination of the temporal and spatial trends of discipline development using domestic universities as the subject of research. The paper presents an overview of discipline development through four aspects: academic participation practice, discipline governance mechanisms, education and teaching systems and discourse construction within the discipline. The theoretical support provided by this study can help facilitate innovative development in the discipline.



Funding: This research did not receive any specific grants from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.


Zhu, W. (2023), "How is the development of library and information science in China?", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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