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  • Connecting the Dots:Fostering A Scholarly Community Through Philanthropy & Education
  • Noah D. Drezner

With this issue of Philanthropy & Education, we celebrate five full years of the journal. In my editorial introducing the journal, I set the mission "to advance scholarship and inform practice around philanthropy broadly defined, including but not limited to, fundraising, volunteerism, civic engagement, alumni relations, corporate social responsibility, and prosocial behavior development" (Drezner, 2017, p. V). Further, I noted the need for the journal as there was evidence of a growing sub-field—often feeling disjointed across multiple disciplines—at the intersection of the scholarly study of philanthropy and education. My unstated hope for Philanthropy & Education was to help foster a scholarly community that could learn from one another, be in conversation with each other, and further the theoretical and practical implications of our sub-field through empirical research.

Five years later, there is evidence that the journal is fulfilling its mission and that indeed there is a scholarly community of which we are all apart. The Association of College and Research Libraries (2015) define a community of scholars as "engag[ing] in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations" (n.p.). This community of scholars can be seen in multiple ways. One such way is to look through a social network analysis of who is cited in the journal. In doing so, I am able to illustrate who our community is comprised of and how we are in conversation with one another.

Scholars have long used social network analysis as an effective method for identifying the structure of intellectual or scholarly communities (Moody & Light, 2006; Pizmony-Levy, 2016; Wang, 2018). For exploring the social structure of publications in Philanthropy & Education, I assembled a small dataset with all publications in the journal and the citations included in them. I then coded the first author of each citation and standardized the names in terms of format. I focused on the first author for simplicity; future analysis should include all other authors. I used the clean dataset to construct a two-mode network with authors [End Page 1] (in rows) and publications in Philanthropy & Education (in columns). Each cell in the matrix was coded 1 if the author was cited in the publication, and 0 otherwise. From this network, I developed two simplified versions: (a) author co-citation network that shows for every two authors the extent to which they are cited together in multiple publications; (b) publication overlap network that shows for every two publications the extent to which they share authors (or cite the same authors).

Over the first five volumes, including this issue, we have published 43 research articles and notes. Across this scholarship, 2,379 different articles, books, and other resources were cited. This includes 1,426 unique first authors. Of those, 71% were only cited in one of the 43 manuscripts, while 22% cited in two manuscripts, and 7% (100) cited three or more times.

Figure 1 is a visualization of a two-mode social network exploring the 43 manuscripts (blue square nodes) and the 100 first authors that were cited by three or more manuscripts (red circle nodes). I excluded methodologists (e.g., Creswell; Merriam; and Yin) and organizations for the purposes of exploring the philanthropic studies network. The seven manuscripts that are isolated from the network (top left side) do not share first authors, cited at least three times, in common with any other manuscript in the network. As you can clearly see, the network includes one component with two clusters. The large cluster (center) is made up of articles that focused on higher education philanthropy; the smaller cluster (bottom left) focuses on k-12 education, and more specifically, philanthropic experiential learning. It is important to note that while these are two distinct clusters they do share some commonalties within the literature they cite.

Taking a deeper dive into the connections across the manuscripts published over the last five years, figure 2 looks at articles (blue square nodes) that share at least six first authors in their references. In this analysis we had multiple components. For the purpose of this illustration...