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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the output of evidence-based medicine (EBM) researchers in China and elsewhere by examining the EBM domains they work within and the networks that exist among them; using visualization methods to analyze these relationships. This maps the current situation and helps with the identification of areas for future growth. METHODS: We used co-citation matrixes with Pathfinder networks and hierarchical clustering algorithms, and constructed a co-author matrix which were analyzed with a whole network approach. The analyzed matrixes were visualized with the UCINET program. RESULTS: Much of the development of EBM has been centered around three authors, David Sackett, Gordon Guyatt and L Manchikanti, within three different clusters. The main authors of EBM articles in China were divided into nine academic domains. The relations among core authors of articles indexed by the Science Citation Index (SCI) was loose. There was a stronger co-authorship network among core authors in the Chinese literature, with three groups and 21 cliques. Nine distinct academic communities appeared to have formed around Li Youping, Liu Ming and Zhang Mingming. CONCLUSION: The EBM literature contains several key clusters, with universities in high-income countries being the source of the majority of articles. Outside China, McMaster University in Canada, the original home of EBM, is the dominant producer of EBM publications. In China, Sichuan University is the main source of EBM publications. The EBM cooperation network in China is comprised of three major groups, the largest and most productive in this sample is led by Li Youping with Liu Ming, Zhang Mingming, Li Jing, Wang Li, Wu Taixiang, and Liu Guanjian as central members.

Original publication




Journal article


J Evid Based Med

Publication Date





85 - 95


Algorithms, Authorship, Biomedical Research, China, Evidence-Based Medicine, Humans, Information Services