Changes in Scholarly Influence in Major American Criminology and Criminal Justice Journals between 1986 and 2015


To investigate changes in scholarly influence in criminology and criminal justice over a 30-year time period, the most-cited scholars in six major American journals were determined for 2011–2015, with results compared to those obtained for 2006–2010, 2001–2005, 1996–2000, 1991–1995, and 1986–1990. The most-cited scholars in 2011–2015 were Robert J. Sampson in American criminology journals and Alex R. Piquero in American criminal justice journals. The most-cited scholars in criminology journals focused on longitudinal/criminal career research and/or criminological theories. The most-cited scholars in criminal justice journals focused on these topics or on criminal justice issues such as rehabilitation and sentencing. Some highly-cited authors were specialized; others were versatile. During this 30-year period, older and deceased scholars became cited less often, while younger scholars became more highly cited. An intergenerational transmission of influence from older to younger scholars occurred through mentoring. This research documents the waxing and waning of careers of criminological influence.

Publication Title

Journal of Criminal Justice Education