Trends of Learning Research from 2003 to 2012: Analysis of Articles, Authors, and Institutions in Selected Educational Journals

Project Number
OER 39/12 CYH

Project Duration
January 2013 - March 2016


The main role of OER (Office of Education Research) is to plan, support, and evaluate educational research in NIE. Recently, OER makes efforts to develop a new research framework for the third tranche of funding provided by MOE. This new plan includes a goal to make multiple peaks of excellence in educational research. To achieve this goal, OER needs to monitor the current status of its research performance and identify key research topics that could be peaks of excellence. The current study will help OER to make data driven decisions when it develops a research framework, identify key research topics, monitor research performance, and make a network with overseas researchers. This study will provide information of what research topics are recently important across educational psychology, educational technology, and learning sciences based on the number and impact of published articles. In addition, this study will evaluate the research performance of NTU (NIE) researchers with the q2 index and compare the researcher profile of NTU with the profiles of other research institutions. The systematic comparison between NTU and internationally prominent research institutions may indicate the current status of NTU in the three research areas and provide suggestions on what should be improved further in regard to the number of researchers, the quality and equality of research performance, and collaboration among researchers. Furthermore, co-authorship network analysis will show which researchers play a critical role in the three areas and actively collaborate with other researchers. This co-authorship network will be helpful when NIE hires new researchers and faculty members or when OER develops an international network with other institutions. In addition, this study will substantially contribute to the literature of educational research trends. First, this study will help a comprehensive understanding of research trends in educational psychology, educational technology, and learning sciences that are closely related with each other. Despite the close relationships among the three domains, previous studies usually focus on a single domain or a single journal. Second, this study uses the q2 index that considers both the quantity and quality dimensions of journal articles. Previous studies seldom combined two dimensions to evaluate the performance of researchers. Third, co-authorship network analysis will be carried out to identify collaboration patterns among educational researchers. The co-authorship network will show what academic groups exist in the three domains and who plays a central role and a gatekeeper role in the academic groups. Lastly, we will categorize research institutions with a cluster analysis and compare them with each other, using the information about researchers in the institutions. Profiles of research institutions were rarely examined in the literature of research trends. Therefore, this study will show a new conceptual framework and methods for the analysis of research trends in terms of articles, researchers, and institutions. The framework and methods can be reused in the analysis of other domains.

Funding Source

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