From silos to a unified field? Mapping academic production in sport for development
Since Schulenkorf and colleague's initial integrated review of the sport for development literature almost ten years ago, SFD as an academic field has continued to grow and evolve. This growing academinc output, however, has not come without criticism
In particular, concerns have been raised about the quality of evidence presented, the dominance of the Global North within SFD research, and the apparent lack of transdisciplinary cooperation in the field. In the following, the authors focus specifically on these latter last two points and use a bibliometric analysis of SFD literature to identify authorship, disciplinary and thematic patterns within this work.
Overall, the results show that SFD is still a highly Northern-led field and this is reinforced by several small, highly productive, self-referential authorship consortia. In other words, small groups of Global North authors regularly collaborate on articles and frequently cite these regularly collaborators.
In light of this, the authors critically assess these trends and reiterate a number of recommendations to enhance disciplinary and international collaboration in SFD. These include enhancing involvement of Global South scholars in academic organisations involved in SFD, as well as more broadly reconsidering what and where 'knowledge' can be located in the field.