The primary aim of this article is to investigate scholarly influence by determining who were the most-cited scholars in the major criminology journals of the major English-speaking countries. One journal from each country was examined. The journals that were analysed were the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice (CJC), Criminology (CRIM), British Journal of Criminology (BJC), and Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology (ANZ). All four journals use a peer-review process to select articles for publication. CRIM was chosen as the major American journal because it is the official journal of the American Society of Criminology and is sent to all members. The other three journals are widely regarded as the leading criminology journals in their countries. Although Canada is officially bilingual, the majority of articles published in CJC are in English.
The research focused on the five-year period 2001-2005, but comparisons were made with previous analyses of the same four journals in 1986-1990 (Cohn and Farrington 1994a), 1991-1995 (Cohn and Farrington 1998), and 1996-2000 (Cohn and Farrington 2007). Identifying the most-cited authors helps to identify the most influential scholars and topics during a particular time period and thus helps to document the historical development of criminology and criminal justice.
When results from all four journals were combined, the most-cited scholars in 1986-1990 were Marvin E. Wolfgang, Alfred Blumstein, David P. Farrington, James Q. Wilson, and Stanley Cohen. Their most-cited works were Delinquency in a Birth Cohort (Wolfgang, Figlio, and Sellin 1972), Criminal Careers and "'Career Criminals" (Blumstein, Cohen, Roth, and Visher 1986), The Delinquent Way of Life (West and Farrington 1977), Crime and Human Nature (Wilson and Herrnstein 1985), and Visions of Social Control (Cohen 1985).
When results from all four journals were combined, the most-cited scholars in 1991-1995 were Travis Hirschi, David P. Farrington, Michael R. Gottfredson, Alfred Blumstein, and John Braithwaite. Their most-cited works were A General Theory of Crime (Gottfredson and Hirschi 1990), "Criminal Career Research" (Blumstein, Cohen, and Farrington 1988), Criminal Careers and "Career Criminals" (Blumstein et al. 1986), and Crime, Shame, and Reintegration (Braithwaite 1989).
When results from all four journals were combined, the most cited scholars in 1996-2000 were John Braithwaite, David Garland, David P. Farrington, Richard V. Ericson, and Ken Pease. Their most-cited works were Crime, Shame, and Reintegration (Braithwaite 1989), Punishment and Modern Society (Garland 1990), "The Onset and Persistence of Offending" (Nagin and Farrington 1992), Policing the Risk Society (Ericson and Haggerty 1997), "Crime Placement, Displacement, and Deflection" (Barr and Pease 1991), and "Once Bitten, Twice Bitten" (Farrell and Pease 1993).
Measuring scholarly influence
Identifying the most-cited scholars and works is one method of measuring prestige and influence in criminology and criminal justice (see, e.g., Cohn, Farrington, and Wright 1998 for a detailed review of prior research in citation analysis). There are other methods, such as ratings by peers, the receipt of prizes, and election to major offices in scholarly societies, but all methods tend to identify the same individuals (see, e.g., Diamond 1986; Gordon and Vicari 1992; Hamermesh, Johnson, and Weisbrod 1982; Myers 1970; Rushton and Endler 1979). Publication productivity has also been studied (e.g., Cohn, Farrington, and Sorensen 2000; Rice, Cohn, and Farrington 2005; Steiner and Schwartz 2006).
In previous works by the author (Cohn and Farrington 1990, 1994a, 1994b, 1995; Cohn et al. 1998), the advantages and problems of citation analysis as a method of measuring prestige and influence were reviewed in great detail. For example, it was found that most …