Invisible Colleagues: The Informal Organization of Knowledge Production in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Chantal Fahmy, Jacob Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


This study seeks to shed light on the informal process of knowledge production in criminology and criminal justice by examining acknowledgements in journal publications. Studying the structure of research collaboration among scholars may enhance our understanding of the discipline’s organization. We test hypotheses derived from prior research by analyzing acknowledgements in 786 articles from five journals in criminology and criminal justice over the last five years. As anticipated by the “invisible college” hypothesis, criminology and criminal justice scholarship contains a small group of individuals who receive a disproportionate share of acknowledgements. Additionally, we find that higher ranked and more productive scholars are awarded more acknowledgements than their lower ranked and less productive counterparts. Integrating acknowledgements as an unofficial assessment tool may improve the collective endeavor of contemporary science in our field. Overall, the influence of the “invisible colleagues,” measured by acknowledgements, demonstrates the value of collaboration in the process of knowledge production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-445
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Law

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