Geography of research on post-socialist cities: a bibliometric approach

  • 1 Faculty of Human Geography of Planning, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Artur BajerskiORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1301-0596

Abstract

The main aim of the article is to investigate the spatial structure of international research on post-socialist cities. The analysis is based on data derived from the Scopus database (2001–2018) and includes issues such as the publication dynamics, structure of authors (with regard to cities and countries), main publishing ‘channels’, as well as networks in ‘producing’ knowledge on post-socialist cities. The analyses conducted primarily lead to a general conclusion about the high spatial concentration of these studies in the scientific centres of Central and Eastern Europe. On a more detailed dimension, however, analyses show a significant diversity in both the publication channels used by researchers and the co-citation networks. On this basis, a conclusion is made about the occurrence of the problem of introversions in research on post-socialist cities on an international scale, which is a broader concept than the Anglo-American dominance discussed for at least two decades.

Introduction

The socialist city was one of the phenomena of urban studies in the second half of the 20th century. A planning regime which differed from the preceding one, the large scale of construction projects, and the migration of people aroused the interest of researchers from all over the world. One of the results was the production of excellent monographs such as The socialist city: Spatial structure and urban policy edited by R.A. French & F.I. Hamilton (1979). The transformations that took place in the former socialist cities after the change of the socio-economic system at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s were of similar interest. Now, 25–30 years after this great change, the cities of the former socialist countries have become, in many respects, similar to those of Western Europe. For this reason, the legitimacy of using the term ‘post-socialist’ is increasingly discussed in relation to cities in Central and Eastern Europe and in the countries of the former Soviet Union (see Stenning & Hörschelmann 2008; Hirt, Ferenčuhová & Tuvikene 2016; Gentile & Sjöberg 2020). Despite this, even those researchers who are aware of the debate often simplify their research as post-socialist cities, treating this term sometimes as a recognisable label.

Despite the constant popularity of research on the cities of post-socialist countries, they have not so far been the subject of bibliometric analyses devoted to them. This fact can be considered somewhat surprising, especially when we consider that in recent years numerous attempts at bibliometric analysis have been made on various topics that fall within the broadly understood term of urban studies1.

Because research on post-socialist cities seems, due to the subject of the research, much more Eurasian and even Central and Eastern European than Anglo-American, it should naturally have a different spatial structure than more global urban studies. Furthermore, because of this, analysis of such studies can be an interesting contribution to the discussion of Anglo-American domination in world science that has been ongoing for at least two decades (i.e. Minca 2000; Aalbers 2004; Rodríguez-Pose 2006; Bański & Ferenc 2013; Kong & Qian 2019), and the specific situation of non-English-language scholars. We still don’t have enough knowledge about the ways in which they ‘disseminate their scientific results and are already accustomed to dealing with multilevel, ‘international ‘, publishing spaces’ (Aalbers & Rossi 2009: 120).

The main aim of this text is to recognise the spatial structure of research on post-socialist cities2. This goal has been further refined by the following research questions: (1) which countries and scientific centres play the most important role in the ‘production’ of knowledge about post-socialist cities?, (2) Where, i.e. in which and in what kind of journals, are articles on this subject published?, (3) Are there significant differences in the structure of the citations of the articles of researchers working in different countries?, (4) Is the phenomenon of national citation bias present in the studies analysed?, (5) Due to the subject of study, does the spatial structure of research on post-socialist cities have a different character to that of the urban studies field as a whole?

To achieve the main objective of the article and answer research questions, the following structure of the text was adopted. After the introductory chapter, in which the research conducted was contextualised, a methodological chapter was introduced containing a detailed description of the research procedure adopted and the classification decisions taken in the course of the study. The next part of the work discusses the most important research results. The principle was adopted that the production of knowledge and its dissemination are first discussed. Then, issues related to the use of already generated knowledge were discussed, i.e. the citation structures selected and the occurrence of national citation bias. The article ends with a discussion section containing not only answers to the research questions posed, but also a certain attempt at a new conceptualisation of inequalities in the use of scientific knowledge on an international scale, in this case about post-socialist cities.

Methods

Due to the specificity of the research problem posed, which is the recognition of the spatial structure of research on post-socialist cities, it was decided to use one of the two most popular and most extensive bibliographic databases, i.e. the Scopus database. This database, run by the Elsevier group, not only contains bibliographic information about articles published in top international journals, but also lower-ranking circulation of scientific information, i.e. publications in national and regional journals (covering several countries) are also well represented (Harzing & Alakangas 2016; Mongeon & Paul-Hus 2016; Martín-Martín et al. 2018). In addition, the method of indexing content in the Scopus database enables the construction of complex queries, including searching for specific words and phrases, including the titles of articles, abstracts, or among keywords provided by the authors of individual articles.

This last feature of the Scopus database was used in the research, the results of which are presented in this article. It allowed the construction of complex queries, enabling the filtering of texts that can be classified as dedicated to post-socialist cities. The methodology for building these queries was a multi-step process. In the first stage, a very general query was used to filter those texts that contained both a reference to the broadly understood post-socialist context and to urban research in the title, abstract or keywords. Hence, it was assumed that these texts should contain at least one term such as ‘post-socialist’, ‘post-socialism’, ‘socialism’, ‘socialist’, ‘communist’, ‘post-communist’, ‘communism’ or ‘post-communism’, as well as at least one of the words ‘city’ or ‘urban’3 (The search was carried out for the entire Scopus database, without being limited to specific scientific disciplines). This condition was met by a total of 3988 documents from 2001–2018 which are indexed in the Scopus database. Of this collection, there were 2,963 articles published in scientific journals as original research articles and reviews (categories ‘article’ and ‘review’ in the Scopus database) and more than 1 thousand other publications (including published reviews of books, conference materials, books themselves etc.). For further analysis, only articles that were journal articles were used.

The use of only two criteria obviously does not allow us to assume that all of the almost 3,000 texts are certainly texts devoted strictly to post-socialist cities or even covering their problems. To verify this, the subject of the 200 most cited articles from the collection was analysed. In only three cases was it was found, based on the title, abstract and keywords, that the article certainly did not address the subject matter. Therefore, an alternative solution, which was an additional narrowing of the set of articles analysed based on the selection of keywords corresponding to the research on post-socialist cities, was abandoned. This confirmatory research was only undertaken for comparative purposes (over 40 additional keywords were selected from among the 160 most common ones found in Scopus, such as urban planning, urban development, urban design, suburban area, or land use). The comparative analysis showed that there are no significant differences in the structure of both sets (participation of researchers from individual countries, the importance of individual science centres, or even individual researchers).

The issue of assigning authors to specific countries also requires some explanation. The national affiliation of the authors can be considered at several levels, but in this text they were assigned to the address data given by the author’s affiliation, of which two features were analysed: (1) the country in which the affiliated institution is located (i.e. the place of work of the author of the text) and (2) the affiliated institution (i.e. university, institute of science academies, research and development institute etc.). For the purposes of the study, it was simplified to assume that the country of work (i.e. affiliation) is strongly associated with the author’s nationality. This assumption, of course, is far from the reality in many cases, nevertheless, adopting it allows a degree of simplification in writing about British, Chinese, Czech, German, or Polish authors. Anyway, the scale of inaccuracy in the understanding of the author’s affiliation discussed above has an important spatial context. It is small in the case of post-socialist countries, in particular Eastern European countries, where the participation of foreign academic staff is marginal (in particular in the social sciences), and the university system itself is characterised by intense emigration of talent primarily to Western Europe and the United States. In turn, in the case of Western European countries and in particular the Anglo-Saxon countries, where a significant part of the academic staff is of foreign origin, the scale of inaccuracies is much larger. In the case of this article, the question that is difficult to answer without further detailed research is certainly the extent to which research on post-socialist cities in Western Europe and the Anglo-American world results from the employment by the universities of those countries of staff from post-socialist countries.

Results

The number of publications on post-socialist cities that were identified and which were published in 2001–2018 in journals indexed in the Scopus database was 2963. More than ⅔ of them were published in the second part of the period analysed. This is associated with an almost constant increase in the number of such articles from 2001 to 2015 (the only break in this trend occurred in 2010 – Fig. 1.). While in 2001 they were only 72 articles, in 2015 there were already 279 texts. A particularly dynamic rate of increase in the number of publications about post-socialist cities is found in the years 2010–2015, when in just 5 years the number of publications doubled and then stabilised. It is difficult to unequivocally point to the reasons for such trend dynamics, but based on other observations, it can, on the one hand, be associated with the overall increase in the number of articles indexed by Scopus each year (the number of magazines indexed increases, and already indexed titles publish more texts), while on the other it can mainly be associated with the growing internationalisation of science in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, which are increasingly important areas of concentration of research on post-socialist cities (see below). In recent years, these countries have introduced various system-based solutions, usually with a similar goal – increasing the level of education and stimulating competition between universities and researchers through an increasingly asymmetrical allocation of funds (Bajerski & Przygoński 2018).

Figure 1
Figure 1

Number of publications on post-socialist cities indexed in the Scopus database in 2001–2018

Source: own study

Citation: Urban Development Issues 65, 1; 10.2478/udi-2020-0001

The authors of publications on post-socialist cities are highly concentrated in a small number of countries. Considering the three countries with the largest numbers of publications – USA (17.9%), UK (11.3%) and Germany (6.3%) – between them they comprise over ⅓ of the publications on post-socialist cities (see Tab. 1.). The scale of concentration is also evidenced by the fact that in total the first six countries comprise over 50%, and the first 15 comprise over 75% of the collection of publications analysed. What is equally important as the scale of concentration of the publications analysed is the structure of the countries in which most of them are created.

Table 1

Top 20 countries in number of articles on post-socialist cities

No.CountryNumber%Cum. %
1United States59717.917.9
2United Kingdom37911.329.2
3Germany2096.335.5
4China2036.141.5
5Poland1594.846.3
6Czech Republic1394.250.5
7Romania1303.954.4
8Hungary1043.157.5
9Russian Federation1043.160.6
10Hong Kong1013.063.6
11France982.966.5
12Canada922.869.3
13Australia692.171.4
14Netherlands682.073.4
15Serbia581.775.1
16Sweden561.776.8
17Slovakia511.578.3
18Estonia471.479.7
19Slovenia411.281.0
20Croatia351.082.0

Source: own study

Considering the top 10 countries it can be seen that as many as half of them are post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe: Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, and the Russian Federation. Together with China and Germany, they form a group of 7 countries out of the top 10 that have experienced various forms of socialism and post-socialism. In general, it can be stated that research on post-socialist cities is conducted in two categories of countries. The first is formed of the European and Asian countries mentioned in this paragraph that have experienced socialism. The second is primarily made up of the Anglo-Saxon countries, of which the most important role is played by – as in all science – the United States and the United Kingdom, and to smaller extent by Canada and Australia. The third category is composed of Western European countries (Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden).

In regional terms, Europe had the largest share in the ‘production’ of articles on post-socialist cities in 2001–2018, with a share of 59.5%. North America came second with a share of 21.0%, and Asia third with 15.2% (Fig. 2.). On this basis, research on post-socialist cities can be defined as primarily a European research specialism within urban studies.

Figure 2
Figure 2

Distribution of published articles on post-socialist cities (by countries)

Source: own study

Citation: Urban Development Issues 65, 1; 10.2478/udi-2020-0001

A no less important issue is the recognition of structures at the level of scientific centres. It is the level where theoretical and methodical research traditions are produced and passed on to adepts. This is particularly important for the scientific centres of post-socialist countries, which are characterised by very low migration of researchers between them.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, the breakdown of data on the ‘production’ of articles from the level of countries to the level of centres allows us to get a picture less burdened by the effect of scale. This is due to the simple fact that differences in the size of scientific centres (universities or their concentrations) are much smaller than differences in size between countries.

Broken down to the level of science centres, the picture of the ‘production’ of knowledge about post-socialist cities is fundamentally different from the one previously shown for countries, but at the same time similar to the regional approach (i.e. the importance of individual regions of the world). It is not surprising that the most important centres of research on post-socialist cities are academic centres located in the post-socialist European countries themselves. These comprise as many as 8 out of 10 of the centres with the largest number of affiliated texts (Tab. 2.). At the same time, the primacy of Charles University in Prague, whose employees published every fiftieth text about post-socialist cities from the collection of nearly 3,000 Articles that were identified, is clearly noted. The high potential of Charles University is demonstrated by the potential and scientific achievements of the employees of the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, in which work, among others, such researchers as Luděk Sýkora and Martin Ouředníček.

Table 2

Top 20 scientific centres on the basis of the number of published papers on post-socialist cities

No.InstitutionNumber%Cum. %
1Charles University612.12.1
2University of Bucharest351.23.2
3Hungarian Academy of Sciences341.14.4
4University of Lodz291.05.4
5University of Tartu291.06.3
6Peking University270.97.3
7Polish Academy of Sciences270.98.2
8University of Belgrade270.99.1
9The University of Hong Kong260.910.0
10University College London250.810.8
11Chinese University of Hong Kong230.811.6
12Masaryk University230.812.4
13Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan220.713.1
14Hong Kong Baptist University200.713.8
15University of Oxford200.714.4
16University of Birmingham190.615.1
17Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin180.615.7
18Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung180.616.3
19University of Ljubljana180.616.9
20University of Helsinki170.617.5

Source: own study

The University of Bucharest and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) are respectively second and third after Prague. In the former case, it is primarily the Department of Human and Economic Geography which is involved. The latter one is de facto a huge institution with branches located in many places. At the same time, the authors of publications about post-socialist cities are dominated by employees of the HAS Geographical Institute in Budapest (including Zoltán Kovács).

The following places were occupied by other Central and East European centres associated with urban transitions – Łódź (Poland), Tartu (Estonia), Peking, Warsaw (Polish Academy of Science, Poland), Belgrade (Serbia) and four Asian centres – one from China (Peking University) and three from Hong Kong (The University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University). In addition, the top 20 also include further centres from Central and Eastern Europe and several centres from Western Europe (including University College London, the University of Oxford and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). Therefore, the first 20 places are occupied by European and Asian centres alone. This confirms that the United States’ leading position as the country providing the most publications on post-socialist cities is primarily due to the size of American science, and not to the presence there of centres specialising in such research.

Publications about post-socialist cities are published in many journals. In the years 2001–2018, there were 120 titles each of which published at least 5 texts on post-socialist cities and 36 with at least 10 texts. The 20 journals with the largest number of articles on post-socialist cities, published 497 such texts in the years 2001–2018, which constituted 16.8% of all those indexed in the Scopus database (see Tab. 3.). The top ten includes 329 articles and 11.1% of the total number of articles. On the one hand, these data indicate a rather strong dispersion of publications about post-socialist cities across various journals, on the other there is a clear concentration in several titles. These include the top urban study magazines such as Cities, Urban Studies, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Journal of Urban History and Urban Geography, as well as more regionally oriented magazines, i.e. on post-socialist countries – e.g. Eurasian Geography and Economics.

Table 3

Top 20 journals publishing papers on post-socialist cities

No.JournalNo. of articles%Cum. %
1Cities582.02.0
2Urban Studies541.83.8
3International Journal of Urban and Regional Research341.14.9
4Eurasian Geography and Economics321.16.0
5China Quarterly280.97.0
6Habitat International280.97.9
7Journal of Urban History270.98.8
8Urban Geography270.99.7
9Planning Perspectives210.710.4
10Hungarian Geographical Bulletin200.711.1
11European Planning Studies190.611.7
12Nationalities Papers190.612.4
13Geografie Sbornik CGS180.613.0
14Environment and Planning A170.613.6
15Sociologicky Casopis170.614.1
16Geoforum160.514.7
17Journal of Architecture160.515.2
18Moravian Geographical Reports160.515.8
19Geographia Polonica150.516.3
20Geographische Rundschau150.516.8

Source: own study

A high position in the ranking of the most frequent places for publishing articles on post-socialist cities is held by ‘regional’ journals published in post-socialist countries, which – often in aims and scope – have explicitly stated that they publish, among other articles, texts about the country or region in which they are published. These journals form a diverse collection which a decade ago could easily be divided into (1) local reader-oriented magazines, usually published in national languages (Czech Geografie, Sociologicky Casopis, German Geographishe Rundschau) and (2) foreign reader-oriented magazines (including China Quarterly, Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, Geographia Polonica, or Moravian Geographical Reports). Currently, this division is not so sharp, due to the gradual, at least partial, transition of many journals formerly directed towards local scientific communities into English.

Equally as important as recognising the structure of ‘production’ in terms of countries and science centres and noting the main communication channels of researchers is to recognise, at least partially, the structure of use of published works by other authors (i.e. the structure of citations). For this purpose, three case studies were carried out – the distribution of researchers citing papers on post-socialist cities written by authors from Great Britain, Poland and China was analysed. These three countries represent three different case studies: the most important producer of knowledge in Europe (Great Britain), the largest post-socialist country in the structures of the European Union (Poland) and the largest (quasi)socialist country in the world (China – see Naughton 2017). Authors from these countries occupy respectively 2nd, 5th, and 4th places in the number of publications on post-socialist cities.

In the case of the spatial distribution of researchers citing the publications of British authors, it is easy to see that these are primarily citations from Anglo-Saxon countries and China together with Hong Kong (in total over 63.2% – see Fig. 3.). Citations from Western Europe (mainly Germany, Scandinavia and Italy) are important, but secondary, while those from Central and Eastern Europe and other regions are marginal. The arrangement of citations of the works of British researchers refers to the general ‘power relations’ in both global geography and urban studies (Kamalski & Kirby 2012; Bański & Ferenc 2013; Bajerski & Przygoński 2018).

Figure 3
Figure 3

Distribution of citations of British authors

Source: own study

Citation: Urban Development Issues 65, 1; 10.2478/udi-2020-0001

The situation is different when analysing the citations of Polish authors. In this case, the citations are almost entirely limited to Europe (Fig. 4.), which accounts for 78.7% of all citations. From other continents, only non-European Anglo-Saxon countries (United States, Canada and Australia) and China are generally noticeable.

Figure 4
Figure 4

Distribution of citations of Polish authors

Source: own study

Citation: Urban Development Issues 65, 1; 10.2478/udi-2020-0001

Another picture is found when quoting the work of researchers from China (Fig. 5.). On the one hand, in general, the distribution of affiliations of researchers citing papers by Chinese authors is similar to the distribution of citations of the papers of the British and the distribution of the international potential of human geography and urban studies, in particular when viewed from the perspective of a short list of prestigious English-language journals (see Gutiérrez & Lopez-Nieva 2001; Short et al. 2001; Kamalski & Kirby 2012; Bański & Ferenc 2013). The only major difference is the overrepresentation of citations of Chinese papers against British ones. On the other hand, some structural differences can be noticed. The most important of these seems to be the case of Central and Eastern Europe. While researchers from this region often cite British and Polish authors, they almost completely skip the papers of authors from China.

Figure 5
Figure 5

Distribution of citations of Chinese authors

Source: own study

Citation: Urban Development Issues 65, 1; 10.2478/udi-2020-0001

A more detailed analysis was applied to the problem that was noted when analysing the spatial distribution of citations by Chinese and Polish researchers publishing papers on post-socialist cities. Its purpose was to determine the depth of ‘national citation bias’ for the papers of researchers from both countries. National bias or national citation bias is a tendency to cite authors originating from the same country or culture (Campbell 1990; Grange 1999). To calculate the depth of national citation bias, a simple formula was adopted – two values were divided by each other. The numerator shows the share (in %) of researchers from a given country in the citation of all identified papers about post-socialist cities (column D in Tab. 4.), while the denominator – the share of researchers from the same country in the citations of the works of researchers from the country selected for analysis (columns E and G in Tab. 4.). The adoption of such a method was primarily intended to eliminate the effect of scale in the form of scientific communities of varying sizes.

Table 4

Citation bias for the articles of Chinese and Polish researchers

No.CountryAll articles by countryArticles citing Chinese researchers by countryArticles citing Polish researchers by country
%Citations%Citation bias (E/D)%Citation bias (G/D)
ABCDEFGH
1United States18.018.017.30.969.10.50
2United Kingdom11.412.78.30.6511.70.92
3Germany6.34.11.70.405.41.30
4China6.113.738.32.792.30.17
5Poland4.82.30.20.0821.99.56
6Czech Republic4.22.20.10.034.62.08
7Romania3.91.30.00.022.01.55
8Hungary3.11.10.10.072.01.90
9Russian Federation3.11.40.40.271.30.92
10Hong Kong3.04.67.01.530.50.11
11France3.01.61.00.671.10.70
12Canada2.83.73.50.942.10.57
13Australia2.14.65.01.091.10.24
14Netherlands2.13.02.80.954.51.50
15Serbia1.80.50.00.000.91.74
16Sweden1.71.61.00.613.01.84
17Slovakia1.50.80.00.001.82.12
18Estonia1.41.00.00.002.52.60
19Slovenia1.20.30.00.000.72.12
20Croatia1.10.30.20.621.85.57

Source: own study

Data presented in Table 4 clearly indicate the occurrence of a strong national citation bias in research on post-socialist cities, which is most easily seen when looking at the share of local citations among all citations of Chinese and Polish researchers. Equally important, the data presented clearly show the scale of citation asymmetry for both countries. First of all, despite the relatively large number of papers published about post-socialist cities by researchers from e.g. Serbia, Slovakia, Estonia and Slovenia, none of them cited a single work of Chinese researchers dealing with similar issues. Secondly, the share of researchers from other Central and Eastern European countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary) in the citations of Chinese researchers was 8 to 50 times smaller than their share in the citations of all selected papers about post-socialist cities. Thirdly, positive citation bias of researchers from Western Europe is definitely noticed in relation to the work of researchers from Central and Eastern Europe (values of the indicator of citation bias above 1). In addition to confirming previously drawn conclusions, this indicates various dimensions of inequality in the circulation of scientific information in research on post-socialist cities.

Discussion

The research results presented in this text were intended to reveal the spatial structure of the research on post-socialist cities which is conducted in various countries around the world. The basic issue related to the understanding of the spatial structure discussed is the distribution of knowledge production about post-socialist cities, which in the article was identified as the publishing of scientific articles in journals indexed in the Scopus database. The image that was obtained is hardly surprising – the quantitative dominance of Eurasia, in particular Europe, and above all the former socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe has already been discussed. Despite the fact that individually the countries of this region have a lower position than the Anglo-American countries dominating world science, their dominant position is marked above all when considering research on post-socialist cities at the level of individual scientific centres.

Analysing the structure of national affiliations of authors of articles on post-socialist cities, it is easy to notice that it differs significantly from the higher-order structure – publications in the field of broadly urban studies. As J. Kamalski & A. Kirkby (2012) have shown, urban studies are characterised by a typical domination of Anglo-American researchers (mainly from the US, but also from the UK, Canada and Australia) and from Western Europe, with a growing, but still small, share of authors from other regions. In this approach, the structure of research on post-socialist cities, due primarily to the geographical orientation of research, is less burdened with the problem of the dominance of researchers from one cultural circle (usually Anglo-American researchers) and its various consequences (see Garcia-Ramon 2003, 2004; Simonsen 2004; Bański & Ferenc 2013; Bajerski & Przygoński 2018).

Against the background of previous research on scientific communication in geography and urban studies, research on post-socialist cities even seems to be, in one sense, egalitarian. There is neither such strong dominance of individual countries, nor a small group of scientific centres (Foster et al. 2007; Bański & Ferenc 2013), nor authors from one cultural-circle (Bodman 2009). It is worth recalling the results of the study by A.R. Bodman (2009), which attempted to measure how influential were individual economic geographers and showed that there were no French, German, Scandinavian or East-Central European geographers among the 100 most influential economic geographers. If we talk about the domination of some countries or scientific centres over others in the research on post-socialist cities, it is possible that Central and Eastern Europe dominates over the rest of the world. A geographically anchored subject of study translates into a high position in research on post-socialist cities.

The picture of the structure of research on post-socialist cities thus obtained is to a large extent the result of the research assumptions adopted, i.e. not limiting research to a previously selected collection of journals, but selecting articles that met certain filtering criteria, regardless of the journal in which they were published. In this way a two-level circulation of scientific information on post-socialist cities appeared, in which the first level is made up of prestigious international journals, and the second is made up of regional journals, often published in local languages (although this is changing). The detection of this two-tier level was possible due to the representation of numerous regional magazines in the Scopus database, in particular those published in Central and Eastern Europe. On the other hand, the two levels can be interpreted as a natural state in which there are non-native English-speaker social researchers who, as it were, constantly move between the two research contexts, often publishing papers both in truly international journals as well as locally or regionally oriented ones (see Minca 2000; Bajerski & Siwek 2012).

The multi-layered picture of generating knowledge about post-socialist cities outlined above is even more complicated when we add another layer containing data about the flow of scientific information between researchers, the measure of which is the citation. The three case studies presented in the article (citations of papers written successively by British, Polish and Chinese researchers) showed three different spatial structures of scientific information flow. From the British, probably the closest to all the social sciences, it is characterised by citing articles from around the world, but also with a strong concentration in Anglo-American countries, Western Europe and Asia. By the Chinese, similar to the British, but with a ‘crater’ of citations in Central and Eastern Europe, which quantitatively dominates in the ‘production’ of knowledge of post-socialist cities. Finally, there is the Polish, which is largely limited to Europe.

Detailed case studies of the influence of Polish and Chinese citations showed the strength of national citation bias. Apart from the natural situation of a significant surplus of citations from researchers from the same country, certain territorial preferences have been marked. This is primarily about the almost complete omission of Chinese papers by researchers from Central and Eastern Europe indicated in the text (with citations in the opposite direction almost twice as frequent), the considerable extent of the range of citations of Polish researchers’ papers in Europe, as well as a generally significant surplus of works of Polish researchers cited by European researchers, with a significant surplus of citations from American, Canadian and Australian researchers in Chinese papers. While the last issue seems quite natural in the light of knowledge about the mechanisms of national citation bias (Campbell 1990; Grange 1999), the first two require in-depth interpretation.

The widespread omission of Chinese researchers’ articles by researchers from Central and Eastern Europe, whilst their works are quoted by researchers from Western Europe, is not a temporary phenomenon, but a long-term issue. Regardless of which specific factors influence it, in more general terms it translates into the fact that researchers from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia etc. do not consider Chinese work on post-socialist cities adequate enough or worth quoting. If it were otherwise, we would not even have to deal with a citations’ ‘crater’ in this part of Europe. Considering the simultaneous omission of the papers of researchers from Central and Eastern Europe by authors outside Europe, one can try to identify and name the phenomenon that may be behind it. It seems that this can be explained by referring to the concept of ‘introversion’. In this specific case, introversion can be understood as a feature leading to excessive focus on the problematic and territorially defined research context, which is perceived as internal and well-known, while other (incompatible) contexts are omitted. It makes communication with researchers originating from other territorial contexts and other research traditions much more difficult. Introversion understood in this way seems to be a general problem, i.e. potentially affecting all scientific communities. In the case of research on post-socialist cities, it leads in Central and Eastern Europe to the situations described in this text. In the case of Anglo-American researchers, it leads to their hegemony in world science, because in this case, not noticing the work of researchers with a specific territorial anchor, or embedded in another tradition, leads to an increase in inequality in access to major journals.

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  • Aalbers, M.B. & Rossi, U. (2009) Anglo-American/Anglophone hegemony, [in:] R. Kitchin, N. Thrift, eds., International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Elsevier, New York, 1, 116–121.

  • Bajerski, A. & Siwek, T. (2012) Bibliometrická analýza české geografie v databázi Scopus, Geografie, 117(1), 52–71 [in Czech].

  • Bajerski, A. & Przygoński, K. (2018) East-Central European human geographers in English-dominated, Anglophone-based international publishing space, Geographia Polonica, 91(3), 265–280.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Bański, J. & Ferenc, M. (2013) ‘International’ or ‘Anglo-American’ journals of geography?, Geoforum, 45, 285–295.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Bodman, A.R. (2009) Measuring the influentialness of economic geographers during the ‘great half century’: an approach using the h index, Journal of Economic Geography, 10(1), 141–156.

  • Campbell, F.M. (1990) National bias: a comparison of citation practices by health professionals, Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 78(4), 376.

  • Foster, J., Muellerleile, C., Olds, K. & Peck, J. (2007) Circulating economic geographies: citation patterns and citation behaviour in economic geography, 1982–2006, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 32(3), 295–312.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • French, R.A. & Hamilton, F.I., eds., (1979) The socialist city: Spatial structure and urban policy, John Wiley & Sons.

  • Fu, Y. & Zhang, X. (2017) Trajectory of urban sustainability concepts: A 35-year bibliometric analysis, Cities, 60, 113–123.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Garcia-Ramon, M.D. (2003) Globalization and international geography: the questions of languages and scholarly traditions, Progress in Human Geography, 27(1), 1–5.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Garcia-Ramon, M.D. (2004) The spaces of critical geography: an introduction, Geoforum, 5(35), 523–524.

  • Gentile, M. & Sjöberg, Ö. (2020) Neoliberalism(s) as a Guide to Post-Wall Urban Change: Explanation Out of the Blue?, Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 111(2), 149–62.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Grange, R.I. (1999) National bias in citations in urology journals: parochialism or availability?, BJU International, 84(6), 601–603.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Gutiérrez, J. & Lopez-Nieva, P. (2001) Are international journals of human geography really international?, Progress in Human Geography, 25(1), 53–69.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Harzing, A.W. & Alakangas, S. (2016) Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science: a longitudinal and cross-disciplinary comparison, Scientometrics, 106(2), 787–804.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Hirt, S. Ferenčuhová, S. & Tuvikene, T. (2016) Conceptual forum: The ‘post-socialist’ city, Eurasian Geography and Economics, 57(4–5), 497–520.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Horton, F.E. & Reynolds, D.R. (1971) Effects of urban spatial structure on individual behavior, Economic Geography, 47(1), 36–48.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Kamalski, J. & Kirby, A. (2012) Bibliometrics and urban knowledge transfer, Cities, 29, S3–S8.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Kanai, J.M., Grant, R. & Jianu, R. (2018) Cities on and off the map: A bibliometric assessment of urban globalisation research, Urban Studies, 55(12), 2569–2585.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Kong, L. & Qian, J. (2019) Knowledge circulation in urban geography/urban studies, 1990–2010: Testing the discourse of Anglo-American hegemony through publication and citation patterns, Urban Studies, 56(1), 44–80.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Martín-Martín, A., Orduna-Malea, E., Thelwall, M. & López-Cózar, E.D. (2018) Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: A systematic comparison of citations in 252 subject categories, Journal of Informetrics, 12(4), 1160–1177.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Matthiessen, C.W. & Winkel Schwarz, A. (1999) Scientific centres in Europe: an analysis of research strength and patterns of specialisation based on bibliometric indicators, Urban Studies, 36(3), 453–477.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Matthiessen, C.W., Schwarz, A.W. & Find, S. (2010) World cities of scientific knowledge: Systems, networks and potential dynamics. An analysis based on bibliometric indicators, Urban Studies, 47(9), 1879–1897.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Minca, C. (2000) Venetian geographical praxis, Environment and Planning D, 18(3), 285–289.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Mongeon, P. & Paul-Hus, A. (2016) The journal coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: a comparative analysis, Scientometrics, 106(1), 213–228.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Mora, L., Bolici, R. & Deakin, M. (2017) The first two decades of smart-city research: A bibliometric analysis, Journal of Urban Technology, 24(1), 3–27.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Naughton, B. (2017) Is China Socialist?, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(1), 3–24.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Pu, B. & Qiu, Y. (2016) Emerging trends and new developments on urban resilience: A bibliometric perspective, Current Urban Studies, 4(1), 36–52.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Rodríguez-Pose, A. (2006) Is there an ‘Anglo-American’ domination in human geography? And, is it bad?, Environment and Planning A, 38(4), 603–610.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Simonsen, K. (2004) Differential spaces of critical geography, Geoforum, 35(5), 525–528.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Short, J.R., Boniche, A., Kim, Y. & Li, P.L. (2001) Cultural globalization, global English, and geography journals, The Professional Geographer, 53(1), 1–11.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Stenning, A. & Hörschelmann, K. (2008) History, geography and difference in the post-socialist world: or, do we still need post-socialism?, Antipode, 40(2), 312–335.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Wu, F., Geng, Y., Tian, X., Zhong, S., Wu, W., Yu, S. & Xiao, S. (2018) Responding climate change: A bibliometric review on urban environmental governance, Journal of Cleaner Production, 204, 344–354.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Zeng, C., Liu, Y., Liu, Y. & Qiu, L. (2014) Urban sprawl and related problems: Bibliometric analysis and refined analysis from 1991 to 2011, Chinese Geographical Science, 24(2), 245–257.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation

Footnotes

1

Examples include research on: cities as scientific centres (Matthiessen & Winkel Schwarz 1999; Matthiessen, Schwarz & Find 2010), urban sprawl (Zeng et al. 2014), urban resilience (Pu & Qiu 2016), concepts of urban sustainability (Fu & Zhang 2017), smart-city research (Mora, Bolici & Deakin 2017), urban environmental governance (Wu et al. 2018) and research on urban globalisation (Kanai et al. 2018).

2

The term spatial structure has for years been one of those concepts that are very often used, but definitely less frequently defined. Usually it is used and understood intuitively (Horton & Reynolds 1971). In this article, spatial structure is broadly understood as not only the arrangement of objects in space, but also the interactions between them.

3

In this article, the term ‘post-socialist city’ has been consciously used, despite the ambiguity of this label. This is due to the specificity of bibliometric analyses, which often use (as in this text) various methods of filtering data, including filtering using words used by the authors in the article titles, abstracts and keywords. In this situation, one should choose to filter words and keywords that use notions of the highest ‘labelling’ or ‘filtering’ power, not those that are the best for substantive reasons, but e.g. those that are rarely used by researchers.

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  • Aalbers, M.B. (2004) Creative destruction through the Anglo-American hegemony: a non-Anglo-American view on publications, referees and language, Area, 36(3), 319–322.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Aalbers, M.B. & Rossi, U. (2009) Anglo-American/Anglophone hegemony, [in:] R. Kitchin, N. Thrift, eds., International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Elsevier, New York, 1, 116–121.

  • Bajerski, A. & Siwek, T. (2012) Bibliometrická analýza české geografie v databázi Scopus, Geografie, 117(1), 52–71 [in Czech].

  • Bajerski, A. & Przygoński, K. (2018) East-Central European human geographers in English-dominated, Anglophone-based international publishing space, Geographia Polonica, 91(3), 265–280.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Bański, J. & Ferenc, M. (2013) ‘International’ or ‘Anglo-American’ journals of geography?, Geoforum, 45, 285–295.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Bodman, A.R. (2009) Measuring the influentialness of economic geographers during the ‘great half century’: an approach using the h index, Journal of Economic Geography, 10(1), 141–156.

  • Campbell, F.M. (1990) National bias: a comparison of citation practices by health professionals, Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 78(4), 376.

  • Foster, J., Muellerleile, C., Olds, K. & Peck, J. (2007) Circulating economic geographies: citation patterns and citation behaviour in economic geography, 1982–2006, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 32(3), 295–312.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • French, R.A. & Hamilton, F.I., eds., (1979) The socialist city: Spatial structure and urban policy, John Wiley & Sons.

  • Fu, Y. & Zhang, X. (2017) Trajectory of urban sustainability concepts: A 35-year bibliometric analysis, Cities, 60, 113–123.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Garcia-Ramon, M.D. (2003) Globalization and international geography: the questions of languages and scholarly traditions, Progress in Human Geography, 27(1), 1–5.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Garcia-Ramon, M.D. (2004) The spaces of critical geography: an introduction, Geoforum, 5(35), 523–524.

  • Gentile, M. & Sjöberg, Ö. (2020) Neoliberalism(s) as a Guide to Post-Wall Urban Change: Explanation Out of the Blue?, Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 111(2), 149–62.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Grange, R.I. (1999) National bias in citations in urology journals: parochialism or availability?, BJU International, 84(6), 601–603.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Gutiérrez, J. & Lopez-Nieva, P. (2001) Are international journals of human geography really international?, Progress in Human Geography, 25(1), 53–69.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Harzing, A.W. & Alakangas, S. (2016) Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science: a longitudinal and cross-disciplinary comparison, Scientometrics, 106(2), 787–804.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Hirt, S. Ferenčuhová, S. & Tuvikene, T. (2016) Conceptual forum: The ‘post-socialist’ city, Eurasian Geography and Economics, 57(4–5), 497–520.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Horton, F.E. & Reynolds, D.R. (1971) Effects of urban spatial structure on individual behavior, Economic Geography, 47(1), 36–48.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Kamalski, J. & Kirby, A. (2012) Bibliometrics and urban knowledge transfer, Cities, 29, S3–S8.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Kanai, J.M., Grant, R. & Jianu, R. (2018) Cities on and off the map: A bibliometric assessment of urban globalisation research, Urban Studies, 55(12), 2569–2585.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Kong, L. & Qian, J. (2019) Knowledge circulation in urban geography/urban studies, 1990–2010: Testing the discourse of Anglo-American hegemony through publication and citation patterns, Urban Studies, 56(1), 44–80.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Martín-Martín, A., Orduna-Malea, E., Thelwall, M. & López-Cózar, E.D. (2018) Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: A systematic comparison of citations in 252 subject categories, Journal of Informetrics, 12(4), 1160–1177.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Matthiessen, C.W. & Winkel Schwarz, A. (1999) Scientific centres in Europe: an analysis of research strength and patterns of specialisation based on bibliometric indicators, Urban Studies, 36(3), 453–477.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Matthiessen, C.W., Schwarz, A.W. & Find, S. (2010) World cities of scientific knowledge: Systems, networks and potential dynamics. An analysis based on bibliometric indicators, Urban Studies, 47(9), 1879–1897.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Minca, C. (2000) Venetian geographical praxis, Environment and Planning D, 18(3), 285–289.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Mongeon, P. & Paul-Hus, A. (2016) The journal coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: a comparative analysis, Scientometrics, 106(1), 213–228.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Mora, L., Bolici, R. & Deakin, M. (2017) The first two decades of smart-city research: A bibliometric analysis, Journal of Urban Technology, 24(1), 3–27.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Naughton, B. (2017) Is China Socialist?, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(1), 3–24.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Pu, B. & Qiu, Y. (2016) Emerging trends and new developments on urban resilience: A bibliometric perspective, Current Urban Studies, 4(1), 36–52.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Rodríguez-Pose, A. (2006) Is there an ‘Anglo-American’ domination in human geography? And, is it bad?, Environment and Planning A, 38(4), 603–610.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Simonsen, K. (2004) Differential spaces of critical geography, Geoforum, 35(5), 525–528.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Short, J.R., Boniche, A., Kim, Y. & Li, P.L. (2001) Cultural globalization, global English, and geography journals, The Professional Geographer, 53(1), 1–11.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Stenning, A. & Hörschelmann, K. (2008) History, geography and difference in the post-socialist world: or, do we still need post-socialism?, Antipode, 40(2), 312–335.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Wu, F., Geng, Y., Tian, X., Zhong, S., Wu, W., Yu, S. & Xiao, S. (2018) Responding climate change: A bibliometric review on urban environmental governance, Journal of Cleaner Production, 204, 344–354.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Zeng, C., Liu, Y., Liu, Y. & Qiu, L. (2014) Urban sprawl and related problems: Bibliometric analysis and refined analysis from 1991 to 2011, Chinese Geographical Science, 24(2), 245–257.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
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    Number of publications on post-socialist cities indexed in the Scopus database in 2001–2018

    Source: own study

  • View in gallery

    Distribution of published articles on post-socialist cities (by countries)

    Source: own study

  • View in gallery

    Distribution of citations of British authors

    Source: own study

  • View in gallery

    Distribution of citations of Polish authors

    Source: own study

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    Distribution of citations of Chinese authors

    Source: own study