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Kevin So

Kevin So recognized for having the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research's most highly cited paper

Monday, February 7, 2022

Media Contact: Bailey Stacy | Communications Coordinator, Marketing & Communications | 405-744-2700 | bailey.stacy@okstate.edu

Dr. Kevin So, associate professor in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Spears Business, was recognized for having the No. 1 most highly cited paper published in the "Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research" (JHTR) from 2011-2021 for his 2014 article, "Customer engagement with tourism brands: Scale development and validation."

This article conceptualized consumer engagement through a 25-item scale, developed from a survey of hotel and airline customers. The scale is comprised of five factors — identification, enthusiasm, attention, absorption and interaction — which provides tourism practitioners with insights into customer’s psychological and behavioral connections with their brand.

The three leading and most widely recognized sources provided the citation metrics for this honor, Google Scholar, SCOPUS and Web of Science. Due to each source having varying ways of quantifying publications, article numbers differ by source. Google Scholar shows So’s article as being cited 561 times and ranks the article No. 1 out of 748 articles published in JHTR in the last 10 years. According to SCOPUS, the article is the top cited out of 596 papers and has been cited 261 times. Out of 610 articles published, Web of Science also ranks the article as No. 1 with 234 citations. The second most highly cited article across all three platforms was cited 100 times fewer than So’s article.

“Kevin is one of the most productive faculty members at the Spears School of Business,” said Dr. Ramesh Sharda, vice dean of the Watson School of Management. “His research employing analytics and theory in the practice of better management of the hospitality and tourism industry is funding positive recognition. His publications have been cited more than 5,000 times that is remarkable for a relatively young scholar. The recent award for the most cited paper is another indicator of the quality of research So is undertaking.”

Winning JHTR’s Best Article of the Year Award in 2015, this article has now been downloaded more than 12,000 times based on Google Scholar.

Several articles that cited the 2014 article have now been referenced more than 500 times with one exceeding 1,000 citations. Of those aforementioned articles So’s 2016 paper, "The role of customer engagement in building consumer loyalty to tourism brands" has been cited 523 times.

“I appreciate the tremendous support from HTM, Spears Business and OSU for me to pursue my academic research,” So said. “As researchers, we devote ourselves, our time and our energy to scholarly activities. Journal editors, editorial board members and many reviewers also work extra hours to keep the publishing process running. Knowing our work is read and used by other scholars all around the world is gratifying. This is why we continue to publish.”

So has recently been named on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2021 list from Clarivate, an elite group recognized for their exceptional research influence, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science.

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