Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

The 75th Anniversary of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport: An Analysis of Status and Contributions

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

The 75th Anniversary of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport: An Analysis of Status and Contributions

Article excerpt

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Research Quarterly/Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (RQ/ RQES) an analysis was conducted comparing RQ/RQES to numerous other journals in the field with regard to impact factors and citation rates. A series of analyses was conducted from the first publication of RQ/RQES in 1930 through this 75th edition to identify total citations by decade, the top 10 cited papers, top cited papers by decade, the top three papers in 5-year intervals from the 50th anniversary issue in 1980 through 2001, and the outstanding research writing award papers since this award began 23 years ago.

Key words: highly cited papers, history of science, impact factors, kinesiology journals


The year 2004 marked the 75th Anniversary of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance's (AAHPERD) primary research journal, the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (RQES; formerly The Research Quarterly [RQ] 1930-70, and Research Quarterly 1971-79). Volume I, Number 1 was published in March 1930. The journal has continuously served AAHPERD (1) members and the broader professional and scientific communities since its inception. RQES is the oldest research journal in the field (Park, 1980) and, although perhaps debatable (Morrow, 1993; Safrit & Patterson, 1986; Thomas, 1989), has been recognized as being the "... flagship multidisciplinary journal in physical education and exercise science" (Weiss, 1993, p. iii).

A cornerstone of the journal has been its long history of self-reflection and analysis. For example, in its ninth year of publication, Clark (1938) noted the value of RQ in generating new knowledge and expanding research interest and graduate study in health and physical education. Following RQ's golden anniversary in 1979, Park (1980) published a historical review of the journal and its antecedents. An academic genealogy of major journal contributors (i.e., those who had authored or coauthored five or more articles in RQ) was published the same year (Montoye & Washburn, 1980). In 198485, a satisfaction survey was performed to determine people's perceptions of the journal's quality (Safrit & Patterson, 1986). Others have looked at the power of statistical tests reported in the journal (Jones & Brewer, 1972), the reliability of its reviewers' reviews (Morrow, Bray, Fulton, & Thomas, 1992), and the accuracy of its authors' reference lists (Stull, Christina, & Quinn, 1991).

In the spirit of contributing to the journal's history of self-reflection and analysis, the current descriptive study was executed with three main purposes:

1. Provide an overview of journals in kinesiology and related areas, especially with regard to the standing of RQ/RQES within that group;

2. Identify the citation history of articles published in RQ/RQES 1930-2003. This information allows readers to see the overall impact RQ/RQES papers have had on the scientific community as a whole:

3. Identify the most highly cited individual papers published in RQ/RQES overall, by decade, since the 50th anniversary issue in 1980 and those receiving the "Research Writing Award."

The 75th anniversary milestone in the journal's history is an opportune time to acknowledge and reflect on its heritage by identifying and recognizing some of its most influential authors and papers. Also, research journals represent the most widely accepted means of communicating knowledge in kinesiology mad science in general. "A scientific experiment, no matter how spectacular the results, is not completed until the results are published" (Day, 1983, p. x). Thus, an analysis of the oldest research journal in our field, RQ/RQES at its 75th year of continuous publication seems appropriate.


Citation Analysis

Citation analysis is one indicator of the use, significance, and influence of scientific work (Garfield, 1994, 1997). …

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