Emerging Trends in OER Studies in China (2001-2019) – A Scientometric Analysis on CiteSpace

Jin Zhu
Open University of China,


OER have played a key role in the development of distance education, and even the whole education field in China in the past 20 years. Thus, the papers and the research findings on OER in China, as a part of distance education studies, can show the situation of OER and also can show the situation of distance education in China in the past 20 years.

This research uses CiteSpace, an information visualization tool, to present and analyze the emerging trends in OER studies in China from 2001 to 2019. 563 papers are identified as the reference source from CNKI, the most important academic database in China. Eventually, the author comes up with the following findings: There are still lots of undeveloped land in OER study in China; Distance education institutions are the closest friends with OER studies; OER study is a good breakthrough point for pedagogy marching from macroscopic to microscopic; OER study started early in China; The studies about its development and evolution are abundant; OER studies are not specific and deep enough in China; Most of the researchers are from pedagogy; There should be more researchers from other disciplines, computer and economics for example.

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