A bibliometric mapping of shadow education research: achievements, limitations, and the future

Anas Hajar, Mehmet Karakus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to map the literature on shadow education using metadata extracted from 488 publications indexed in the Web of Science database. It is termed as shadow education because much of its content mimics what is learned in schools. The study uses bibliometric procedures to describe and visually represent available literature on shadow education in terms of main sources, key authors, institutions, and countries leading the production and dissemination of research on shadow education. Further, the study elaborates on h-classics publications to obtain an in-depth understanding of the most influential scientific outputs in this domain. Key findings of the study are that research on shadow education (a) has experienced steady growth over the last decade; (b) is disseminated through a wide range of outlets, mainly in the disciplines of sociology of education, economics of education, educational psychology, and language education; (c) is published mainly by scholars working in East Asia and the United States; (d) has focused on tangible (quantifiable) benefits related to improved examination results; and (e) reveals how this form of instruction primarily benefits students hailing from high socioeconomic backgrounds, thereby contributing to greater educational inequality. This study also suggests pedagogical implications and areas for ongoing research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-359
Number of pages19
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number2
Early online date9 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

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This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Literature review
  • Science mapping
  • Shadow education
  • VOSviewer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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