Chinese Interpreting Studies: a data-driven analysis of a dynamic field of enquiry

PeerJ. 2015 Sep 17;3:e1249. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1249. eCollection 2015.


Over the five decades since its beginnings, Chinese Interpreting Studies (CIS) has evolved into a dynamic field of academic enquiry with more than 3,500 scholars and 4,200 publications. Using quantitative and qualitative analysis, this scientometric study delves deep into CIS citation data to examine some of the noteworthy trends and patterns of behavior in the field: how can the field's progress be quantified by means of citation analysis? Do its authors tend repeatedly to cite 'classic' papers or are they more drawn to their colleagues' latest research? What different effects does the choice of empirical vs. theoretical research have on the use of citations in the various research brackets? The findings show that the field is steadily moving forward with new papers continuously being cited, although a number of influential papers stand out, having received a stream of citations in all the years examined. CIS scholars also have a tendency to cite much older English than Chinese publications across all document types, and empirical research has the greatest influence on the citation behavior of doctoral scholars, while theoretical studies have the largest impact on that of article authors. The goal of this study is to demonstrate the merits of blending quantitative and qualitative analyses to uncover hidden trends.

Keywords: Chinese interpreting studies; Citation analysis; Scientometrics; Statistical modeling.

Grant support

The authors did not receive external funding for this research.