JBHE’s Annual Citation Rankings of Black Scholars in the Social Sciences

Each year Thomson Scientific (formerly the Institute for Scientific Information) in Philadelphia enters information on more than 30 million citations from over 1.3 million published papers in a wide variety of academic fields. Citations from 8,500 academic journals are routinely read, counted, and analyzed. JBHE, in turn, searches this database to determine how many times the works of a particular black scholar have been cited in any given year.

As we have done since 1993, JBHE recently conducted a database search of Thomson Scientific’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Index for the citation counts of dozens of black scholars in this discipline. In each of the past 12 surveys that JBHE conducted on black scholars in the social sciences, we determined that the leader in rankings was Professor William Julius Wilson, the sociologist formerly at the University of Chicago who now is University Professor at Harvard University. The results this year are unchanged. Once more, the citation count leader is Professor Wilson with a total of 303 citations in academic journals. Professor Wilson’s citation count decreased by three from the previous year’s count.

David R. Williams, Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, had 287 citations in this year’s count, which placed him second among black scholars in the social sciences.

Rounding out the top 10 in citation rankings among black scholars in the social sciences are Claude M. Steele, Cornel West, Elijah Anderson, Vonnie McLoyd, Paul Gilroy, Lawrence Bobo, Randall Kennedy, and Kimberle Crenshaw.