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  • 1 Research Center for Strategic Science and Technology Issues, Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China, Beijing, China
  • 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute of Industrial Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 3 Department of Library and Information Science, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
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Abstract

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which is divided into three subfields, including Chinese medicine, Chinese herb and acupuncture, attracts increasing attentions due to its challenging and significant medical values. This study employs bibliometric analysis to examine the profile of publication activity in TCM field as well as its subfields. The data are retrieved from the Science Citation Index Expanded database during 1980–2009, and 16,536 papers are identified for analysis. Generally speaking, proportions of papers in subfield of acupuncture decreased dramatically, while the proportions of papers of Chinese medicine and Chinese herb rose increasingly. This study finds that East Asia has the largest number of TCM papers, followed by North America and Europe. Furthermore, while China is ranked first in terms of the amount of TCM publications, USA gains the highest percentage of citations. As for regional specialty, mainly, scholars in East Asia publish intensively in Chinese medicine, while most of the scholars in North America and Europe probe into the study of acupuncture. In the latest two decades, China took the first place over Japan in subfields of both Chinese medicine and Chinese herb, while the US has always kept the largest share in acupuncture with a marked upward trend. Regarding the top-ranked TCM institution, Chinese Academy of Sciences located in China, is ranked first in the subfields of Chinese medicine and Chinese herb as well. As for Kyung Hee University, which is located in South Korea, is ranked first in the number of acupuncture papers and Harvard University is ranked first in number of acupuncture citations.

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