The Journal of Consumer Research at 40: A Historical Analysis

Xin (Shane) Wang, Bendle Neil, Mai Feng, June Cotte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews 40 years of the Journal of Consumer Research (JCR). Using text mining, we uncover the key phrases associated with consumer research. We use a topic modeling procedure to uncover 16 topics that have been featured in the journal since its inception and to show the trends in topics over time. For example, we highlight the decline in family decision-making research and the flourishing of social identity and influence research since the journal’s inception. A citation analysis shows which JCR articles have had the most impact and compares the topics in top-cited articles with all JCR journal articles. We show that methodological and consumer culture articles tend to be heavily cited. We conclude by investigating the scholars who have been the top contributors to the journal across the four decades of its existence. And to better understand which schools have contributed most to the knowledge of consumer research over this history, we provide an analysis of where these top-performing scholars were trained. Our approach shows that the JCR archives can be an excellent source of data for scholars trying to understand the complicated, challenging, and dynamic field of consumer research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-18
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Apr 2015


  • topic modeling
  • Journal of Consumer Research
  • historical analysis
  • citation analysis


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