PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (2): 244-255.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.02.010

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Review of international research on national parks as an evolving knowledge domain in recent 30 years

Lianlian XIAO1,2(), Linsheng ZHONG1,2,*(), Rui ZHOU1,3, Hu YU1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environment Information System, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Online:2017-02-20 Published:2017-02-20
  • Contact: Linsheng ZHONG;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671527, No.41301623;Program of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (Research on National Park System)]


Research on national parks has been a focus in ecological protection and tourism fields. Based on 451 English-language academic publications (1986-2016) collected from the Web of Science database, this article synthesizes the multiple aspects of research on national parks with regard to resource assessment, environmental impact, planning, and management, and identifies research methods in national park studies. Citespace III and systematic review methods are employed to compile and analyze the literature in the database. This article also critically proposes five directions for future research in China, including legislation, development models, management content and methods, community participation models and mechanism, and environmental impact monitoring and assessment of national parks. In general, characteristics of international research on national parks involve complicated objectives, diverse perspectives, and comprehensive methods. In the context of national park construction in China, developing a research system of national parks based on international experiences will contribute to enriching the research on China’s protected areas and providing guidance for Chinese national park construction.

Key words: national park, Citespace III, map of knowledge domain, literature review, enlightenment