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Research on hotspots and evolution paths in the field of health information behavior: a comparison study of bibliometrics based on CNKI and WoS data

Yi Ping Zhu (School of Public Policy and Administration, Nanchang University, Nanchang, China)
Yi Zhu (School of Public Policy and Administration, Nanchang University, Nanchang, China)
Li Zhen Fan (Jiangxi Provincial Library, Nanchang, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 29 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to examine the research hotspots and evolution paths in the field of health information behavior (HIB) in China and abroad, and conduct comparative analysis to better understand its development trajectory globally.

Design/methodology/approach

A keyword search of the relevant literature included in the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database and Web of Science (WoS) core collection database was conducted, using the visualized analysis tool CiteSpace V for bibliometric analyses.

Findings

The common research hotspots in China and abroad can be divided into related research on HIB, research on its influencing factors and health information research. Among these, health information-seeking behavior has been the focus of domestic and foreign scholars. From the subdivision perspective, the focus of Chinese and foreign research hotspots differs. In terms of evolutionary path, the initial stage of HIB research in China and abroad revolves around health information and health information-seeking behavior, followed by the influencing factors of HIB; however, the research breakthrough point is the reverse. Then, domestic and foreign research was conducted on different types of HIBs. Regarding the selection of research objects, Chinese and foreign research objects were increasingly diversified.

Research limitations/implications

This study also has several limitations. First, the literature sample only selected the literature in the WoS and CNKI databases, and there may be many HIB-related works published in other databases. Therefore, future research should include other databases. Second, in terms of language, this study selected only Chinese and English literature, but in many countries, important research results on certain topics are usually published in native language, and future research should expand the language selection. Third, this study only conducted national and institutional collaboration network analysis, keyword co-occurrence analysis, cluster analysis and timeline chart analysis.

Practical implications

The implication of practice can be divided into the following three points. (1) Analyzing the domestic and foreign literature on HIB and identifying highly cooperative institutions and countries in the field of HIB can reveal the research situation of HIB and help researchers establish new research networks in the future. (2) Analyzing the research hotspots and evolutionary paths of HIB at home and abroad is helpful for quickly understanding the development context of this field and grasping the emerging research directions such as HIB of people in close contact with patients, health information exchange behavior, health information avoidance behavior and health information discontinuation behavior, which can help researchers to explore the future research direction in this field, so as to determine the topic and fill the research gap. (3) Combining the analysis of HIB-related research at home and abroad is helpful for professionals to understand the characteristics and rules of HIB of users, consumers and other groups to further optimize and improve health information services.

Originality/value

Comparing and summarizing the research status of HIB in China and globally, and presenting the findings visually, will help researchers better grasp the research overview and hotspot changes in this field, as well as provide a follow-up reference.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71964022 and No. 72164026), Jiangxi Social Science Foundation (No. 21TQ09).

Citation

Zhu, Y.P., Zhu, Y. and Fan, L.Z. (2022), "Research on hotspots and evolution paths in the field of health information behavior: a comparison study of bibliometrics based on CNKI and WoS data", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-08-2022-0399

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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