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Give Us Your Thoughts on Our Editorial "A Planners' Rorschach: The Most Frequent Words in JPER’s Article Titles"

Posted By JPER, Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In our Fall 2017 editorial “A Planners’ Rorschach: The Most Frequent Words in JPER’s Article Titles”, we present our view of the differences between two word clouds representing article titles from the two halves of JPER’s tenure. Now it’s your turn. After reading the editorial, have a look at the two images below and use the comments feature to let us know what you see. 

Word cloud of JPER article titles, 1981–2000 (460 articles)

Word cloud of JPER article titles, 2001–present (504 articles)

Tags:  Editorial  JPER  Planning 

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Comments on this post...

Thomas Sanchez says...
Posted Tuesday, September 5, 2017
There are a few challenges to using single word text analysis, such as in these word clouds. Single words may appear less frequently than the term they are part of. For Instance, how many times was "land" in a title not followed by "use"? And "community" followed by "development" or "involvement" refer to different topics. A separate but related issue is word placement in the cloud. Word or tag cloud generators that I'm aware of do not usually put associated words close to each other (is that true in the case?). Again, it would be good to know how often a word like "urban" is associated with "design", "core", "planning", etc.

I did a similar analysis for Housing Policy Debate using article keywords (see: The results were interesting and highlighted focus areas, but unlike the JPER analysis, did not compare time periods. Nader Afzalan and I also used a network analysis (and pseudo-sentiment analysis) to map faculty interests from the ACSP Guide (see: The process was similar but attempted to reduce the number of terms into themes.

But as the editors note, fewer uses of "education" and "teaching" in titles is likely significant. A little more digging into abstracts could reveal more.

Are the data posted somewhere?
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JPER says...
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Thanks very much for the informative comment. Yes the titles data is available as a supplementary file on the JPER website: The abstracts would not be too difficult to compile for anyone interested. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions at
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