Seaport research: a structured literature review on methodological issues since the 1980s

Su-Han Woo, Stephen, J. Pettit, Dong-Wook Kwak, Anthony Beresford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate how seaport research has been conducted from the methodological perspective. To this end, this study reviews published port literature for the last three decades (1980–2000s). The investigation primarily categorises the literature according to various methodological issues such as research paradigm, research strategy, base-disciplines, research methods and analysis techniques in order to provide meaningful implications on methodological evolution in seaport research for the period. This study suggests methodological bias in port research to a positivistic paradigm, following a quantitative trajectory moving from conceptual to empirical studies. In addition, the increased use of mathematical modelling and advanced statistical analysis methods is clearly observed. The introduction of advanced analytical tools used in other academic disciplines facilitates discussions in particular research area and amplifies the literature in those areas. This paper also suggests research gaps from the methodological perspective and implications for future port research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-685
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Issue number7
Early online date23 May 2011
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Seaport research
  • Structured literature review
  • Research paradigm
  • Research method
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Port research
  • Analysis technique


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