Contemporary intellectual structure of CSCL research (2006–2013): a co-citation network analysis with an education focus

Kai-Yu Tang, Chin-Chung Tsai, Tzu-Chiang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This present study endeavors to discover the scholarly communication structure in the CSCL knowledge domain. To explore the intellectual structure of contemporary literature of CSCL research from 2006 to 2013, over a thousand research papers indexed in the leading journal publications and conference proceedings were retrieved from WOS. Accordingly, this paper adopted a series of methods to analyze these research articles from macro to micro level, including document co-citation analysis (DCA), exploratory factor analysis (EFA), and social network analysis (SNA). As a result, a total of 7,552 and 2,180 co-citation ties were obtained from 403 to 66 source papers, respectively. In addition, six intellectual subfields within the CSCL literature were extracted, namely: (1) representation, discourse & pattern, (2) factors influencing CSCL, (3) intervention and comparison, (4) critical reasoning, (5) process of social construction, and (6) design and modeling of CSCL. Central documents and publications within contemporary CSCL research were identified and presented in the undirected co-citation networks from both macro and micro perspectives. Furthermore, the dissemination of underlying subfields and pivotal documents serving as a boundary-spanning role were discussed. This is the very first attempt to integrate the bibliographical method, statistical analysis, and visualization techniques in relation to contemporary CSCL research. Further discussion and research directions for future CSCL study are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-363
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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