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Topic structure and evolution patterns of documentary heritage preservation and conservation research in China

Bai Yun (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Zhao Yue (School of Public Administration, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Zhou Yaolin (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China) (Center for Studies of Information Resource, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 22 February 2021

Issue publication date: 27 May 2022




This study aims to identify the prominent topics, the distribution and association characteristics of topics and the topic evolutionary trends of Documentary Heritage Preservation and Conservation (DHPAC) research in China.


Keywords of relevant papers in China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) were extracted as the data source in this study. First, frequency and co-occurrence of keywords of the selected papers were obtained by using SATI. Second, co-word network indicators were calculated with the Pajek software. Then, VOSviewer was applied to optimize the visualization of the sub-communities. Finally, a topics evolution map of this research field was implemented by CorTexT.


The research topics of DHPAC research in China were unbalanced but distinct. Topics of DHPAC research in China possessed inconspicuous orientation and consistency. The core topics had less influence on the overall network. A research system had formed with archival conservation and ancient books conservation as the core research directions. Research in this field had formed four continuous evolutionary paths about ancient books conservation, salvage conservation, archival conservation and archives conservation technology science with topics fusion and differentiation coexisting. Attentions on “ancient books conservation”, “paper relics conservation”, “electronic record”, “digitization”, “minority”, “documents in the republic of China” had increased during the past two decades and new hot topics of DHPAC research kept appearing in China.


This study synthesized and analyzed the research results of DHPAC research in China from a more comprehensive perspective and revealed the topic structure and longitudinal evolution process intuitively with co-word analysis and social network analysis, which can assist researchers to improve research systematization, discover new research directions and seek cooperative research path.



Zhou Yaolin is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: work was supported by the NSSFC (National Office for Philosophy and Social Science) major program “Conservation and Database Construction of Archival Documents of Ethnic Minorities in Border Area of China” (grant number 17ZDA294), Full-time Postdoctoral Research and Development Fund of Sichuan University, China (grant number skbsh2019-06) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of Central China Normal University, China (grant number CCNU20ZY0026).


Yun, B., Yue, Z. and Yaolin, Z. (2022), "Topic structure and evolution patterns of documentary heritage preservation and conservation research in China", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 805-827.



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