Journal Retrospective Study Report

Compare in Contrast: A 50 Year Retrospective Examination of Compare

Petrina M. Davidson, Independent Researcher
Nino Dzotsenidze, Lehigh University
Maureen F. Park, Lehigh University
Alexander W. Wiseman, Texas Tech University


The 50-year anniversary of Compare is a particular moment to pause and reflect on the trends and status of the journal itself and where it is situated in the field of comparative and international education. This article presents a multifaceted examination of editorials and articles published by Compare in order to consider how the contents have reflected editorial leadership as well as trends and changes in comparative education and international education development. Comparative and international education (CIE) as a field, has long been the subject of significant scholarly debate, with Compare bearing witness to these ongoing discussions. This report presents the results of a qualitative time-series analysis of the articles and editorials published in Compare over the past five decades. These results highlight the trends, patterns, and milestone events in 50 years of published content. Historically, articles published in Compare have been dominated by authors affiliated with institutions from the Global North, however there has been an increasing focus in the articles themselves on countries from the Global South. There has been some growth in the percentage of authors affiliated with institutions in the Global South. Although the majority of articles have been single country studies, there are numerous other ways for articles to be comparative, an idea the editorial staff has addressed for years. Qualitative articles have occupied the majority of articles throughout Compare’s history. In addition to these findings, this article presents a more nuanced view of the history of Compare’s article publications and its situation in the broader field of comparative and international education.