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Political scientists Mainwaring, O'Donnell among field's most-cited scholars

Author: Arts and Letters


The journal PS: Political Science & Politics__has__named the University of Notre Dame’s Scott Mainwaring and Guillermo O’Donnell among the 400 most-cited scholars teaching in U.S. political science graduate departments.

In “The Political Science 400: A 20-Year Update,” the authors ranked the top 25 scholars according to their doctoral year in cohorts of five years from 1940 to 1999. The authors also ranked scholars by subfield and gender.

Mainwaring, the Eugene P. and Helen Conley Professor of Political Science and the director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, ranked 15th among those who received their doctorates between 1980 and 1984.

O’Donnell ranked seventh among those receiving their doctoral degrees from 1970 to 1974 and was one of only five scholars of Hispanic, Latino or Asian heritage included on the top 400 list. O’Donnell, who is the Helen Kellogg Professor of Political Science and a faculty fellow of the institute, was Kellogg’s academic director from 1982 to 1997.

“Rather like the Fortune 500, which ranks corporations by their total gross revenue, we identify the `notables’ of our time by ranking individual scholars based on their cumulative citation counts,” according to the survey’s authors, who studied data from the Social Sciences Citation Index.

The authors noted that citation data can be preferable to publication data since many publications, even those in prestigious journals, have “little or no impact orvisibility in the field.”

Moreover, work published in less-prestigious journals may nonetheless come to be highly visible and influential. Finally, the article notes, “judging visibility only by article publication discriminates against those scholars whose publications come as books.”

PS: Political Science & Politics is published by the American Political Science Association. It is the only quarterly professional news and commentary journal in the field and is the prime source of information on political scientists’ achievements and professional concerns.

Originally published by Kelly Roberts at on February 21, 2007.