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More Than Meets the “I”: Geographical Distribution of Authors

By: , Posted on: May 13, 2015

International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavior SciencesIn an earlier post, I discussed the internationalism of the IESBS 2/e editorial team, with comparisons to the editors involved in producing the first edition.  Consistent with the goal of making the second edition even more international than the first, I was pleased to report that in 2/e, “the proportional representation of women among the editors was nearly tripled while the predominance of the USA was halved.

Nations represented in 2/e but not 1/e include Luxembourg, Greece, Finland, Japan, China, Ireland, Singapore, Spain, Russia, Austria, Israel and the Netherlands.” Adding the members of the 2/e International Board of Consulting Editors brings to 35 the total number of countries on the IESBS editorial team.

Data has recently been made available to me that allow a similar analysis of the geographical distribution of the authors of 2/e entries.  These data are derived from Elsevier’s project payment files, and since payments for entries were normally made only to first authors, the data on geographical locations are mostly for first authors only.  (The same was true in the analysis of geographical locations of 1/e authors.)  All told, the data files show addresses to which 5,848 payments were posted.

In the first edition, 2,061 of the 3,842 first authors were from the USA (53.6%).  US authors also dominate in the second edition, but slightly less so.  In 2/e, 2,923 of the 5,848 authors (49.9%) were located in the US.  Thus, the American presence was decreased from slightly more to slightly less than half.

In the first edition, 51 separate nations were represented among the authors.  In the current edition, that number increased to 68, a 33% increase.  The top seven national contributors (US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, The Netherlands and France) were identical in both editions.  Nine nations who contributed authors for the first edition are not represented in the 2/e listing:  Uruguay, Venezuela, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Indonesia, Kuwait, Morocco, and Yugoslavia.  But 24 new nations were added to the authorship roles:  Luxembourg, Argentina, Croatia, Korea, Ghana, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Philippines, Nepal, Costa Rica, Brunei, Bangladesh, Estonia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mauritania, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, Senegal, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates, plus two authors whose payments were mailed to the United Nations.  If Hong Kong authors are tabulated separately from PRC authors, the new nations number 25.  The entire national breakdown of 2/e authors is shown in Table One.

Much of the increase in nations represented among the 2/e authors is due to the expanded internationalism of the editorial team.   Having an editor from Luxembourg surely increased the representation of that nation on the 2/e list; and ditto editors based in China, Russia, New Zealand, etc.  Likewise, there were more women on the 2/e editorial team and as a consequence, the proportional representation of women authors increased from 21% to 25% — not a big step but surely a step in the right direction.

Table One: Geographical Distribution of (Mostly) First Authors of Entries in IESBS 2/e:

table 1

table 2

    table 3

table 4

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Second Edition is available on Science Direct and on the Elsevier Store.

About the Editor

james wrightJames D. Wright is an author, educator, and the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Central Florida. Wright also serves as the Director of the UCF Institute for Social and Behavioral Sciences and as honorary Editor-in-Chief of the journal Social Science Research. His previous editing experience also includes a twenty-year stint as editor of the Aldine de Gruyter book series Social Institutions and Social Change, two editions of the Handbook of Survey Research (Academic Press, 1983; Emerald Publishing, 2010), and service on the editorial boards of numerous journals. He is the author of 21 books and scholarly monographs on topics ranging from homelessness to research methods to NASCAR, and he has published more than 300 journal articles, book chapters, reviews, essays and polemics.


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