TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (3): 372-382.

Collaborative Characteristics of Chinese Tourism Scholars Based on SSCI Papers

ZHONG Siqi，WANG Xia，WU Xiaogen，ZHANG Jiao

1. （School of Geographic & Oceanographic Sciences，Nanjing University，Nanjing 210046，China）
• Online:2017-05-05 Published:2017-05-05

Abstract: With the rapid growth of knowledge, scientific cooperation increasingly becomes an important form of research work. The final results of scientific cooperation are often presented in the form of academic papers. Using bibliometric analysis and social network analysis, this paper reveals the mode and characteristics of Chinese tourism scholars’ cooperation based on SSCI papers, which provides a reference for Chinese tourism scholars to seek scientific cooperators. The results and conclusions are as follows. Firstly, from the perspective of cooperation trend, the number of SSCI papers published by Chinese scholars is growing fast, and the cooperation among Chinese tourism scholars have constantly strengthened. Cross-institutional collaboration has become main way of cooperation. Secondly, in terms of cooperative features, the collaborative group of central authors constantly expands because ‘Matthew effect’ is found in the network. As a result, the cooperation of scholars has an obvious characteristic of power law distribution. In addition, the active degree of cooperation is related to the academic output to a certain extent, which reflected in the scholars and institutions. For example, active scholars with high centrality like Law Rob, Song Haiyan and Bob Mckercher have a strong scientific and technological productivity. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has cooperators all over the world, and that explains why it achieves high ranking in the tourism academic circle. Besides, the cooperative network has the characteristic of wide distribution and dense centralization, some of the scholars have a group of partners that are closely connected within the group but relatively isolated from other groups, and that would be detrimental to the spread of tourism academic knowledge. Although the cooperation between the central scholars is more extensive, their cohesion force is not strong, especially the China-Taiwan region has become an ‘academic isolated island’. Its academic cooperation with other region is mainly produced by Ryan Chris from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. This further shows the necessity of strengthening regional tourism academic cooperation. Thirdly, from the perspective of cooperative mode, mainland China, China-Hong Kong and China-Taiwan differ from each other. China-Hong Kong formed the pattern of ‘a myriad of stars surround the moon’, Hong Kong Polytechnic University cooperated with a large number of universities all over the world. China-Taiwan formed the pattern of ‘crowded stars’, the division of universities’ academic strength is about the same, and the cooperation between colleges and universities is very frequent. Mainland China only formed several elite tourism research teams and the cooperation among them is weak. Lastly, based on the analysis above, this paper puts forward four suggestions to promote the international cooperation of Chinese tourism research, namely, focusing on the research topics of the central authors, letting ‘bridge’ authors to play a role in the network, strengthening cooperative relation within China and implementing 'point to area' international academic cooperation strategy.