Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (4): 678-688.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201504014

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles    

Progress in Human Geography in a century: A bibliometric review of 73 SSCI journals

Saixiang ZHONG1(), Tian YUAN1, Xiangyan SU1, Peng HU2, Ximing XUE3()   

  1. 1. School of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    2. School of Mathematics and Statistics, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    3. College of Tourism and Historical Culture, Southwest University for Nationalities, Chengdu 610041, China
  • Received:2014-02-06 Revised:2015-01-07 Online:2015-04-20 Published:2015-04-20


On the basis of 144719 document records from 73 Human Geography journals from SSCI database during 1900-2012, the paper conducted an integrated bibliometric analysis in respect to characteristics of document types, document outputs, keywords, authors, countries and institutions. Meanwhile, an indicator system was established to examine the features and trends of Human Geography development through comprehensive assessment towards authors worldwide. Our analysis focused on the scientific outputs, subject categories, international collaboration and geographic distribution. A multi-criteria assessment system was built to measure the contributions of 387 authors in four periods within 1900-2012. Then network phase analysis supported by Matlab and Netdraw was used to reveal the network relationships among authors, countries and institutions. It was discovered that firstly, the total amount of Human Geography documents published increased rapidly during the last century, but the proportion it held in SSCI dwindled. Secondly, the US and the UK have been playing a leading role in Human Geography research, especially institutions like University of Sheffield, UCL and University of Cambridge. Thirdly, research hotspots of Human Geography were significant in the last century, including placeness, migration, gender, tourism, planning etc., with the combination of geography with politics to be emphasized. The application of geographic information technology represented by GIS and RS aroused wide concern. The hotspot regions emerged mainly in the US and the UK, especially in some megacities. Several Chinese cities have attained incremental concentration over the last decade. In addition, leading scientists varied in different periods of the study of Human Geography, among whom Johnston R J published the largest number of articles. Moreover, a key author club has emerged led by Johnston RJ, Thrift N, Sayer A, Jackson P, Harvey D et al. With the conclusions above, this paper has shown the development characteristics and trends of Human Geography.

Key words: SSCI, human geography, bibliometrics, development trends, Netdraw analysis