AcademicImage Library

Discover research documents through images

Discover new research material using existing images. AcademicImage Library (CAI) is a platform that provides scholars with one-stop access to academic images relating to Chinese history, geography, literature, art, philosophy, religion, culture and education. Users can start their research with an image, find relevant research interests and links to related documents. Offered via the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) platform, AcademicImage Library comprises images from China Academic Journals (CAJ) and from China Reference Works Online (CRWO). Images are academically and accurately classified based on their features, literature keywords and caption keywords, and include links to the source literature.

AcademicImage Library is one of 40 databases offered through East View’s China Research Gateway. Launched in 2022, China Research Gateway (CRG) transforms library access to Chinese resources by combining 40 databases into one package, supported by an accessible and user-friendly English-language portal. To learn more about CRG, please visit the CRG home page.
AcademicImage Library

Key Stats

  • Archive: 1981-present
  • Language: Chinese content with English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese interfaces
  • Country: China
  • Number of Images: over 2.2 million
  • Updates: Continuous; approx. 200,000 images per year
  • Format: PDF images
  • Producer: Tongfang Knowledge Network Ltd.
  • Platform: CNKI (TKN)

About AcademicImage Library


At present, AcademicImage includes over 2.2 million images from CAJ (1994-2019) and over 750,000 images from CRWO (1981-2019). CNKI will continue to add new images as they become available in CAJ and CRWO; approximately 200,000 images are expected to be added annually.


The platform features “Popular Images” and “Hot Knowledge” sections on the main page that provide suggestions on interesting topics.

Users can also browse by four disciplines and 34 sub-disciplines:

History & Geography

  • History of China
  • Ancient Chinese History
  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese History
  • World History
  • China Chronicles of Nationalities and Local Chronicle
  • Biography
  • Archaeology
  • Geography

Literature & Art

  • Literature Theory
  • Chinese Language
  • Chinese Literature
  • Foreign Language
  • World Literature
  • Dancing and Music
  • Drama and Film
  • Art and Calligraphy

Culture & Education

  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Ethics
  • Demography and Statistics
  • Aesthetics
  • Ethnonymics
  • Education
  • Physical Education
  • Management

Politics & Economics

  • Marxism
  • Military and Security
  • Chinese Politics and International Politics
  • Economics
  • Trade Economy
  • Industrial Economy
  • Agricultural Economy
  • Tourism and Culture Economy
  • Finance and Investment
  • Accounting and Auditing
  • Users can search by keywords (basic and advanced). Advanced search supports keywords, publication date, subject, image category, image size, and source database.
  • Search results can be filtered according to color, subject, year of publication, keyword, and type, or sorted according to relevancy, image size, publication date, information content and definition.
  • Users can download multiple images at once from search results, compare up to three images at once, and rotate or zoom in on images.

Note: AcademicImage Library is not cross-searchable with other CNKI databases but does include links to literature found in CAJ and CRWO, allowing CAJ and CRWO subscribers to seamlessly download relevant full-text articles.

About China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI)

CNKI is the world’s most comprehensive online resource for accessing China’s intellectual output. This powerful platform is the product of Tongfang Knowledge Network, Beijing, and encompasses academic journals, dissertations, conference papers, news, and many other resources that put the knowledge of China in the sciences and humanities at your fingertips. With tens of millions of articles and growing every day, CNKI is a foundation for any serious research on China. CNKI is hosted in the United States by East View and updated daily.

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