The University Record, January 10, 1994

U-M scholars tops in citations on Black experience

By Diane Swanbrow
News and Information Services

Seven of the 10 top-cited research papers on the African American experience in the last decade were authored by U-M scholars.

The first-ever citation-based ranking of Black studies departments, scholars and research papers appears in the autumn 1993 issue of The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

For the ranking, the journal first commissioned a nationwide search for Black studies papers published in academic journals from 1981 to 1991, identifying 579 papers in which the terms African American, Afro-American or Black studies deparment were used in the author’s biography.

The author most frequently cited by his peers was Robert J. Taylor, associate professor of social work and a faculty associate at the Institute for Social Research. Taylor has written extensively about the situation of the Black family.

The U-M led all other universities and colleges in the total number of citations received by affiliate scholars during the decade studied, with 103. Second-place University of California, Los Angeles, had 71.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education next broadened its search to include all faculty members affiliated with Black studies or African Amerian studies programs at 25 leading universities, identifying nearly 900 academic papers.

In this analysis, the most frequently cited author was Vonnie C. McLoyd, professor of psychology and of Afroamerican and African studies and a research scientist at the Center for Human Growth and Development.

The search also yielded the following list of the decade’s “citation classics”—the top-cited papers on the African American experience authored by faculty at the nation’s 25 largest research universities:

1. “The Impact of Economic Hardship on Black Families and Children: Psychological Distress, Parenting, and Socioemotional Development,” by Vonnie McLoyd, University of Michigan (Journal of Child Development, Vol. 61, 1990).

2. “Urban Poverty,” by William Julius Wilson, the University of Chicago (Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 11, 1985).

3. “The Cost of Racial and Class Exclusion in the Inner City,” by L.J.D. Wacquant and William Julius Wilson, University of Chicago (Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Vol. 501, 1989).

4. “Coping with Ecological Transitions by Black Families,” by Oscar Barbarin, University of Michigan (Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 11, 1983).

5. “After the Starting Line: Blacks and Women in an Uphill Race,” by Reynolds Farley, University of Michigan (Demography, Vol. 25, 1988).

6. “Developments in Research on Black Families: A Decade Review,” by R.J. Taylor, L.M. Chatters, M.B. Tucker and E. Lewis, University of Michigan (Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 52, 1990).

7. “Assimilation in the United States: An Analysis of Ethnic and Generation Differences in Status and Achievement,” by L.J. Neidert and Reynolds Farley, University of Michigan (American Sociological Review, Vol. 50, 1985).

8. “The Effects of the Structure of Play Objects on the Pretend Play of Low-Income Preschool Children,” by Vonnie C. McLoyd, University of Michigan (Child Development, Vol. 54, 1983).

9. “Racial Inequalities in Housing: An Examination of Recent Trends,” by Reynolds Farley, University of Michigan, and S.M. Bianchi of the U.S. Bureau of the Census (Demography, Vol. 19. 1982).

10. “Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Presence in American Literature,” by Toni Morrison, Princeton University, (, Vol. 28, 1989).