The research, funded by the Chinese National Social Science Fund and published in the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, examined the contents of the three leading journals in the field.
Taking data from the Web of Science over the last decade it concluded that Loughborough University academics had produced more journal articles than any other institution in the world, and indeed more than double the number of publications of the next most prolific institutions (including the universities of Toronto, Maryland and British Columbia and the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences).
Four of the five individuals defined as ‘core authors’ in the field were associated with Loughborough University – Alan Bairner, Jamie Cleland, Joseph Maguire, and Dominic Malcolm.
Loughborough University's work is also heavily cited, with Loughborough academic Richard Giulianotti the second most cited individual in the field, beaten only by the great French social theorist Pierre Bourdieu.
The article states that ‘Loughborough University is the centre for sociology of sport with its strong contribution and influence’ and argues that this critical mass has been ‘significant to developing the academic subdiscipline’.
Dominic Malcolm, editor of the International Review for the Sociology of Sport said:
“It is a great honour to be recognised in this way and to see that sociology has made a key contribution to the School’s No. 1 QS World ranking for sport-related subjects.”