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Yi Bu


I am an Assistant Professor in Data Science at the Department of Information Management, Peking University, China. Before joining Peking University, I was a research fellow at the Center for Science of Science and Innovation, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems, and the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. I earned a B.Mngt. in Information Management and System from Peking University, an M.S. in Data Science, and a Ph.D. in Informatics from Indiana University Bloomington. At Indiana, I was supervised by Professor Ying Ding.


My research applies multidisciplinary methods to scholarly big data. I aim to contextualize and elucidate the social dynamics of the global scientific ecosystem by leveraging massive datasets, computational techniques, and social theories. Specifically, my research focuses on three threads:

  • Knowledge integration, production, and diffusion. I adopt complex system-based quantifications or simulations (e.g., configuration models, percolations, and randomizations) to study the process of knowledge flow in various scenarios;

  • Evidence-based science policy. I apply causal inference methods (e.g., difference-in-differences, instrumental variables, and matching) on macro- or micro-scientific systems (e.g., funding allocation, interdisciplinarity, gender/race equity, and scientific collaboration) around the globe; and

  • Entities and behaviors in scholarly publishing, such as biological/AI entities and their relations, the inequality of scholars’ attention, etc. I apply machine learning/deep learning methods to decipher the actors and their engagements in the knowledge embedding space.


I was supported by the Young Elite Scientists Sponsorship Program by the China Association for Science and Technology (2021). I have been leading projects supported by the National Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Education of China, and a variety of enterprises. I serve as a board member of multiple journals and organizations:

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