Geographic Disparities in Knowledge Production: A Big Data Analysis of Peer-Reviewed Communication Publications from 1990 to 2019

Brian Ekdale, Abby Rinaldi, Mir Ashfaquzzaman, Mehrnaz Khanjani, Frankline Matanji, Ryan Stoldt, Melissa Tully


This study uses computational methods to provide a comprehensive analysis of geographic distribution of journal authorship in the field of communication. Using the Scimago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) database, we collected data on publications appearing in 400 communication journals between 1990 and 2019. Our findings demonstrate a proportionate decline in Northern American authorial dominance over time, although scholars from the region continue to publish far more often than scholars from any other part of the world. Further, scholars in Northern America and parts of Europe publish in higher-ranked journals and are cited at higher rates than their colleagues in the Global South, who are more likely to publish in lower-ranked and regional journals. Overall, these geographic disparities in journal authorship demonstrate the enduring colonial legacy of scholarly knowledge production in the field of communication.


scholarly knowledge production, communication research, citational disparities, regional journals, journal authorship

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