PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (2): 164-174.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.02.002

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A review of studies on the “pole-axis system” theory based on citation analysis

Manchun LI1,2,3(), Mengru YAO1,2,3, Xia WANG1, Xiaoqiang LIU1,2,3, Yanming CHEN1,2,3   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    3. Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2018-05-16 Revised:2018-12-27 Online:2019-02-28 Published:2019-02-28
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China, No. 2017YFB0504205;Major Program of the National Social Science Foundation of China, No. 14ZDA078;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41871134.


The article "Formation and dynamics of the 'pole-axis' spatial system" by Lu Dadao marks the maturity of the "pole-axis" theory. Using the method of citation analysis, this study analyzed the 349 citations of this masterpiece from the aspects of citation numbers, authors of the publications, journals, research focus area, discipline, research themes, and motivations of citation, in order to comprehensively review the application of this famous Chinese geographical theory. The results show that since 2002, the rate of citation of the "pole-axis system" theory has been on the rise. The research topics focused on regional economy and tourism development. The research cases were mainly at the provincial and municipal scales with single research area, and focused on four hotspot regions: the Northwest Silk Road Economic Belt, the Northeast Liaoning Economic Circle, the Southwest Tibet-Yunnan-Sichuan-Chongqing area, and the Eastern Yangtze River Delta region. The quality of research is generally high, with the characteristics of interdisciplinary application, but the studies lack critical examination and creative improvement of Lu's theory. Based on this, we present an outlook on the future development of the "pole-axis system" theory from the perspective of expanding research and practical applications, hoping to provide some references for scholars in related fields, as well as to point out the possible application directions towards achieving more innovative results in regional development.

Key words: "pole-axis" system, "pole-axis" theory, review, citation analysis, motivation of citation