Research Notes: 45 Years of the Canadian Review of Sociology (and Anthropology)

Canadian Review of Sociology, May 2010 | Go to article overview

Research Notes: 45 Years of the Canadian Review of Sociology (and Anthropology)


THIS RESEARCH NOTE HAS FOUR OBJECTIVES: first, I will reiterate the mission statement of the Canadian Review of Sociology (and Anthropology) henceforth CRS; second, I will provide an empirical analysis of the articles published in the CRS; third I will compare the articles published in the CRS and the Canadian Journal of Sociology, henceforth CJS, and, finally I will briefly discuss the CRS's role in the transfer of knowledge to the public and policy makers. In the process, we may have a better understanding of the past and present intellectual and professional structure of the CRS, and help researchers and administrators to compare the relative value of the two leading journals of sociology in Canada.

THE CANADIAN REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY: ITS GOALS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The Canadian Review of Sociology, formerly known as the Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, is the oldest peer reviewed sociology (and anthropology) journal in Canada. It is the flagship of the Canadian Sociological (and formerly Anthropological) Association and is the discipline's prestigious and influential Canadian journal. Its task is the dissemination of innovative theories and research which are at the core of the discipline. It aims to ensure that sociologists with a wide variety of expertise and interests are able to communicate with one another and build on each others' work. Thus, its goal is to serve as an outlet that counters forces of specialization, differentiation and fragmentation.

From 1964 to 2009, the CRS has published 933 articles. The subject matter of these articles include such broad areas as social inequality, work and occupation, industry and technology, education, politics, gender and sexuality, race, immigration and ethnicity, family, religion, crime and deviance, health, media, culture, socialization, globalization, and environment and many other topics. Core subjects of sociology are often embedded with a theoretical framework and are substantiated quantitatively, qualitatively, or both. At the same time, through special issues on Canadian society, Anglo and French sociology, the academy, memory of John Porter, feminism, sexual harassment, cultural studies, social movements, environment, and globalization, the CRS has kept pace and even at times led the discipline as it has grown and moved into innovative areas.

The articles published in the CRS have been instrumental in producing dynamic dialogue among sociologists and other intellectuals who represent Canada's mainstream and scientific sociology which is academic and at times critical, radical, and oppositional. As such, the CRS represents and has been an outlet for the dissemination of ideas and dialogue among Canadian professionals and critical academics. This does not mean that the CRS has not represented or had impact on other subsections of society. In fact, it has made a significant contribution to the scholarly development of Canadian sociology and anthropology; been instrumental in nourishing intellectual development of a large number of graduate students; and, arguably, been influential in the development of policies by private and public organizations.

QUALITY OF OUTPUT

The aforementioned general comments do not address the quality of articles published in the CRS. For this purpose, we need to look at how other scholars perceive the CRS, and how it has impacted their work. Citations are measures of a journal's impact and reflect the contribution of an article to future research by other scholars. They represent dissemination of facts and ideas as assimilated by and grounded in a network of scholars. The online database of Google Scholar in October 2009, can be used as a measure of the CRS's impact over a given time. Google Scholar is preferable to the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) or other indices because Google Scholar includes citations in books, has more journals than other citation databases, and is a resource available to all scholars. …

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