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A Scientometric Study on Depression among University Students in East Asia: Research and System Insufficiencies?

Hoang Nguyen (), Tung Ho, La Phuong (), Quynh-Yen Thi. Nguyen (), Ho Toan, Thu-Trang Vuong (), Tam-Tri Le (), Manh-Cuong Nguyen () and Quan-Hoang Vuong ()
Additional contact information
Quynh-Yen Thi. Nguyen: College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Oita 874-8577, Japan
Thu-Trang Vuong: Sciences Po Paris, 27 Rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris, France
Tam-Tri Le: International Cooperation Policy, Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Oita 874-8577, Japan
Manh-Cuong Nguyen: Faculty of International Studies, Hanoi University, Km9, Nguyen Trai Road, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi 100803, Vietnam
Quan-Hoang Vuong: Centre for Interdisciplinary Social Research, Phenikaa University, Yen Nghia Ward, Ha Dong District, Hanoi 100803, Vietnam

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Quan-Hoang Vuong

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 4, 1-25

Abstract: Given that mental health issues are acute in Asian countries, particularly Japan and Korea, and university students are more vulnerable to depression than the general population, this study aims to examine the landscapes of scientific research regarding depressive disorders among university students and evaluate the effectiveness of international collaboration and funding provision on the scientific impact in Korea, Japan, and China. Based on articles retrieved from the Web of Science database during the period 1992–2018, we found that the number of scientific publications, international collaborations, and allocated funds regarding depressive disorder among university students in China (97 articles, 43 international collaborations, and 52 funds provided, respectively) overwhelmingly surpassed the case of Korea (37 articles, 12 international collaborations, and 15 funds provided, respectively) and Japan (24 articles, 5 international collaborations, and 6 funds provided, respectively). The differences in collaboration patterns ( p -value < 0.05) and the proportion of allocated funds ( p -value < 0.05) among Korea, Japan, and China were also noted using Fisher’s exact test. Based on the Poisson regression analysis, China’s associations of scientific impact with international collaboration (β = −0.322, p -value < 0.01) and funding provision (β = −0.397, p -value < 0.01) are negative, while associations of the scientific impact and scientific quality with funding provision and international collaboration were statistically insignificant. These findings hint that Korea and Japan lacked scientific output, diversity in research targets, international collaboration, and funding provision, compared to China, but the quality of either China’s internationally collaborated or funded articles was contentious. As a result, policymakers in Korea and Japan are suggested to raise the importance of mental health problems in their future policy planning and resource distribution. Moreover, it would be advisable to establish a rigorous system of evaluation for the quality of internationally collaborated and funded studies in order to increase scientific impact and maintain public trust, especially in China.

Keywords: depressive disorder; university student; scientific output; international collaboration; funding; Korea; Japan; China; scientific impact; scientific quality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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