Mapping a World of Urban Planning Literature: GIS Analysis to Address Equity Gaps in a Library Collection
Where does one look to study cities around the world? How does a librarian build a collection that moves beyond a limited Western focus to incorporate post-colonial and indigenous experiences? And how can such analysis be automated to allow practitioners at disparate institutions to diversify their own collections? These questions are important as Urban Planning tries to incorporate a variety of practices in human settlement from across the world. Building on previous research related to an Urban Planning book collection, this study uses GIS analysis to address DEI questions on a global scale by highlighting disparities in scholarly focus. By analyzing the geographic subject content of top journal articles in the field of Urban Planning in comparison to books within the library, the study examines ways that a collection can address gaps in analysis of human settlements around the world, especially in the global south. These analyses are then used to guide collection development, building a global focus in the book collection, filling in gaps that may arise from limits in the current journal coverage. Material is analyzed both in the specific collection, but also in the larger scholarly community, comparing the specific gaps in the collection to larger gaps in the scholarship of Urban Planning. In addition to the primary study, this article includes details about using Excel macros for textual analysis of a corpus of metadata, with instructions for how to use these open-source macros to do analysis at a variety of institutions.