A bibliometric study of EAP research: who is doing what, where and when?

Ken Hyland, Feng (Kevin) Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


This paper uses a bibliometric analysis to track changes in EAP research over the last 40 years. Based on a corpus of 12,600 EAP-related articles from 40 Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) journals, we reveal what research topics have been most popular over time and which authors, publications and source countries have been most influential. The results show that while topics concerning teaching, learning and classroom practices, have remained popular, those with a focus on contexts and discourses have grown since 2001, with substantial attention devoted to identity, interaction and genre. The most cited authors and publications also show a marked shift towards an interest in academic writing, language description and perspectives underpinning social relationships in learning and communication. Finally, our study shows that EAP is achieving a global reach as authors affiliated with emerging centres of research, particularly China, begin to make a mark on the field. We believe these findings may be of interest to EAP professionals seeking to become more familiar with the field and as a way of mapping the emergence of EAP as a maturing discipline.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100929
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Early online date22 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Bibliometrics
  • Citations
  • EAP authors
  • EAP publications
  • EAP research
  • EAP topics

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