Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2021, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (3): 58-74.doi: 10.2478/jdis-2021-0015

• Research Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Content Characteristics of Knowledge Integration in the eHealth Field: An Analysis Based on Citation Contexts

Shiyun Wang1,2, Jin Mao1,2,(), Jing Tang1,2, Yujie Cao3   

  1. 1Center for Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
    2School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
    3School of Information Management, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2020-11-01 Revised:2021-02-02 Accepted:2021-02-05 Online:2021-08-20 Published:2021-07-22
  • Contact: Jin Mao


Purpose: This study attempts to disclose the characteristics of knowledge integration in an interdisciplinary field by looking into the content aspect of knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach: The eHealth field was chosen in the case study. Associated knowledge phrases (AKPs) that are shared between citing papers and their references were extracted from the citation contexts of the eHealth papers by applying a stem-matching method. A classification schema that considers the functions of knowledge in the domain was proposed to categorize the identified AKPs. The source disciplines of each knowledge type were analyzed. Quantitative indicators and a co-occurrence analysis were applied to disclose the integration patterns of different knowledge types.

Findings: The annotated AKPs evidence the major disciplines supplying each type of knowledge. Different knowledge types have remarkably different integration patterns in terms of knowledge amount, the breadth of source disciplines, and the integration time lag. We also find several frequent co-occurrence patterns of different knowledge types.

Research limitations: The collected articles of the field are limited to the two leading open access journals. The stem-matching method to extract AKPs could not identify those phrases with the same meaning but expressed in words with different stems. The type of Research Subject dominates the recognized AKPs, which calls on an improvement of the classification schema for better knowledge integration analysis on knowledge units.

Practical implications: The methodology proposed in this paper sheds new light on knowledge integration characteristics of an interdisciplinary field from the content perspective. The findings have practical implications on the future development of research strategies in eHealth and the policies about interdisciplinary research.

Originality/value: This study proposed a new methodology to explore the content characteristics of knowledge integration in an interdisciplinary field.

Key words: Knowledge integration, Interdisciplinary research, Citation contexts, eHealth, Knowledge content