State of the Field Scientific Study of Religion in Bibliometric Perspective

Keynote Address to the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion, August 12, 2018

Dr. Wesley J. Wildman

CMAC Executive Director Dr. Wesley J. Wildman gave the following keynote lecture at the 2018 International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion (IACSR) Conference in Boston. The presentation offered findings from one branch of CMAC’s Field Mapping Project, a bibliometric analysis of the Scientific Study of Religion (SSR), which is a field within the academic study of religion. Highlights include:

  • growth in SSR publications and articles, from 20% of publications in the academic study of religion in 1980 to 45% in 2018;
  • structure and organization of SSR publications, in terms of specialized domains of publication;
  • demographic trends of researchers in the field and identification of individual publishing powerhouses;
  • institutions supporting SSR research and networks of those institutions based on co-authorship networks;
  • analysis of co-authorship networks, showing that humanities study of religion is tragically isolated from SSR;
  • journal rankings in the SSR field, showing that SSR journals lead the academic study of religion in impact;
  • measures of the impact of SSR publications relative to other domains of publication, showing that SSR publications are highly impactful; and
  • identification of funding sources and the way they have changed over time.