Urban Planning Faculty Ranked Most Influential In new study, UCLA Luskin department listed as No. 1 in North America for scholarly citations

By Stan Paul

Topping Harvard, UC Berkeley, NYU, USC and MIT, the Department of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs has once again been named the most influential planning school in North America, according to a recently published study.

The analysis was conducted by Thomas W. Sanchez of Virginia Tech, who measured citations of planning scholarship. Citations measure the number of times that publications by one author are referred to, or cited, by other authors. Citations are the most common measure of scholarly influence.

Using the median number of Google Scholar citations per faculty member, Sanchez, a professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech, compared the top 25 planning schools. For the second straight year, UCLA remained at the top. Others in the top 10 are Harvard, UC Berkeley, New York University, USC, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, MIT, University of Maryland and Rutgers.

Ranking faculty in terms of the median number of citations measures the scholarly influence of the typical faculty member in a program, which reflects the overall scholarly influence of an entire faculty.

“That Urban Planning at UCLA ranks first in the median number of citations among all North American planning programs reflects the impressive productivity and influence of our faculty across the board,” said Evelyn Blumenberg, professor and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning.

In addition to being broadly productive and influential as reflected by median citations, Urban Planning professor Michael Storper was the second-most-cited planning scholar out of nearly 900 evaluated in the analysis, with more than 28,000 citations. Sanchez, whose article appears in the “Journal of Planning Education and Research,” writes that his methodology (using Google Scholar data) includes citations “beyond traditional peer-reviewed publications.”

“Recent trends in bibliometrics suggest that including a wider variety of scholarship is especially applicable to the field of urban planning,” said Sanchez, adding that citation data analysis indicates programs that have “relatively high levels of scholarly activity, as well as identifying the planning academics that are generating citations.”

The full article, “Faculty Performance Evaluation Using Citation Analysis: An Update,” may be found at http://jpe.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/03/16/0739456X16633500.full.pdf+html.

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