Publication Details

Title: An Investigation Into the Characteristics of Papers With High Scholarly Citations in Public Administration
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: March 2017
Published In: Review of Public Personnel Administration

In this article, we investigate characteristics associated with highly cited journal articles in Public Administration, especially the extent to which high impact contributions are theoretical. Using citations as a measure of scholarly influence, we used a mixed qualitative and bibliometric approach to understand the factors associated with the most highly cited articles in Public Administration in the last 20 years. Specifically, we assessed the extent to which each article was theoretical or empirical in nature, the role of the journal in which each article was published, and the extent to which the article’s impact spanned disciplines. Results indicate that theoretical development, the journal in which an article is published, and strategic placement with regard to the intended audience matter for scholarly impact. We also identify that theoretical versus empirical approach of subdisciplines is aligned with the maturity of that subdiscipline, consistent with Kuhn’s ideas of scientific evolution.

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  • School of Public Policy