A Bibliometric Analysis of International Advances in L2 Motivation Research (2004-2018)


Fu, Yuping, Zhang, Zongjie

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This paper explores the international advances of L2 motivation studies by analyzing articles published between 2004 and 2018 using VOSviewer software. A total of 752 English articles were retrieved from the core collection of Web of Science (WoS) indexed in SSCI and A&HCI journals. The dimensions of the bibliometric analysis include publications, citations, research trends, and hotspots. The results show that: 1) the annual output displays a steady surge over the past 15 years with the final year covering over five times as many studies as the first. The high percentage of articles in top journals implies a matured area; 2) the knowledge basis predominantly involves three categories, i.e., applied linguistics, educational and social psychology, and computer-assisted language learning, which adequately illustrate the interdisciplinary and multidimensional nature of the research. 3) The mainstream research will remain in variables of individual selves and differences in the classroom setting. Nevertheless, the L2 motivational self-system, technology and language motivation, and demotivation are more likely to become new trends. Hopefully, the findings from this research will provide a general view of the domain and a forum for further discussion.


I. Introduction
II. Method
1. Database choice
2. Data retrieval
3. Data analysis
III. Results and Discussion
1. Total number of publications
2. Most prolific authors
3. Co-citation analysis
IV. Conclusion
Works Cited


  • Fu, Yuping Hainan Tropical Ocean University
  • Zhang, Zongjie Cheongju University


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