Edu-Scholar Public Influence Scoring Rubric for 2024 Announced

Tomorrow, the 2024 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings will be unveiled, recognizing the 200 university-based scholars who had the greatest impact on educational practice and policy last year. This marks the 14th annual edition of the rankings. Today, let’s take a look at the methodology used to determine these rankings.

With over 20,000 university-based faculty members in the United States conducting research on education, simply making it onto the Edu-Scholar list is an impressive achievement. The list is composed of university-based scholars who primarily focus on educational questions and have a formal affiliation with a university. Scholars without a formal affiliation on a university website are not eligible.

I am grateful to the 2024 RHSU Selection Committee for their assistance in this process. The members of the committee are as follows: Joshua Angrist (MIT), Richard Arum (UC Irvine), Deborah Ball (U. Michigan), Linda Darling-Hammond (Stanford), Nell Duke (U. Michigan), Donna Ford (Ohio State), Marybeth Gasman (Rutgers), Dan Goldhaber (U. Washington), Kris GutiƩrrez (UC Berkeley), Eric Hanushek (Stanford), Shaun Harper (USC), Douglas Harris (Tulane), Carolyn Heinrich (Vanderbilt), Jeffrey Henig (Columbia), Tyrone Howard (UCLA), Thomas Kane (Harvard), Robert Kelchen (UT Knoxville), Helen Ladd (Duke), Marc Lamont Hill (CUNY), Susanna Loeb (Stanford), Bridget Terry Long (Harvard), Tressie McMillan Cottom (UNC Chapel Hill), Ernest Morrell (Notre Dame), Pedro Noguera (USC), Laura Perna (U. Penn), Robert Pianta (U. Virginia), Jonathan Plucker (Johns Hopkins), Stephen Raudenbush (U. Chicago), Katharine Strunk (U. Penn), Carola Suarez-Orozco (Harvard), Ivory Toldson (Howard), Carol Tomlinson (U. Virginia), Jacob Vigdor (U. Washington), Kevin Welner (CU Boulder), Martin West (Harvard), Sam Wineburg (Stanford), Patrick Wolf (U. Arkansas), Yong Zhao (U. Kansas), and Jonathan Zimmerman (U. Penn).

Now let’s discuss how the Top 200 list was compiled. How were the actual rankings calculated? Each scholar was evaluated in eight categories, with a maximum possible score of 200. Here’s how the scores were calculated in each category:

Google Scholar Score: This score measures the number of widely cited articles, books, or papers authored by a scholar. The scholar’s “h-index” was used for this purpose. The h-index is a measure of the breadth and impact of a scholar’s work, calculated by identifying the point where the number of highly cited works exceeds the number of less frequently cited works. The search was conducted using the advanced search “author” filter in Google Scholar. Scholars with a Google Scholar account had their h-index readily available, while scholars without an account had their score calculated through a hand search. Points were capped at 50.

Book Points: This score is based on the number of books authored, co-authored, or edited by a scholar. Points were awarded differently based on the type of book. Single-authored books received 2 points, co-authored books with the scholar as the lead author received 1 point, and co-authored books where the scholar was not the lead author or any edited volume received half a point. Points were capped at 20.

Highest Amazon Ranking: This score reflects the highest-ranked book by the scholar on Amazon. The higher the rank, the more points were awarded, with a maximum score of 20.

Education Press Mentions: This score measures the total number of times a scholar was quoted or mentioned in Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, or Inside Higher Education during 2023. Mentions were averaged across the Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed, and that tally was added to the number of appearances in Education Week. The resulting figure was multiplied by five, and total education press points were capped at 30.

Web Mentions: This score captures the number of times a scholar was referenced or mentioned online in 2023. The search was conducted using Google, with the scholar’s name and university affiliation as search terms. Points were calculated based on the total number of mentions and capped at 25.

Newspaper Mentions: This score measures the number of times a scholar was quoted or mentioned in U.S. newspapers. The search was conducted using ProQuest, with the scholar’s name and affiliation as search terms. Mentions from Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed were excluded. The tally was multiplied by three, and points were capped at 30.

Syllabus Points: This score reflects a scholar’s impact on the assigned readings in college courses. The metric was scored using OpenSyllabusProject.org, which contains a large