January 12, 2007

Vanderbilt’s faculty productivity among nation’s best: survey

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Hans Rudolf Aeruei, assistant in Biochemistry, foreground, and graduate student Tim Panosian conduct an experiment in the lab of Richard Caprioli, Ph.D.
Photo by Neil Brake

Vanderbilt’s faculty productivity among nation’s best: survey

Six doctoral programs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center ranked among the top 10 in scholarly output in 2005, according to the latest Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index released Monday by Academic Analytics.

The index, developed by Lawrence Martin, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School at New York's Stony Brook University, and Anthony Olejniczak, Ph.D., calculates the scholarly productivity in terms of faculty publications, citations, awards and grants.

Among 166 large research universities, VUMC ranked first in Pharmacology; second in Neuroscience behind Yale University; third in Genetics behind the University of Washington and Harvard University; third in Physiology behind Johns Hopkins University and Case Western Reserve University; seventh in Developmental Biology; and ninth in Microbiology.

“This is a great honor for our School of Medicine and its academic programs, and confirms the excellence in so many of our areas of basic science,” said Steven Gabbe, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “Once again, the Department of Pharmacology is at the very top of the list.”

Overall, Vanderbilt University ranked seventh after Harvard, the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, San Francisco (tied for second), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale, Carnegie Mellon University and Washington University in St. Louis.

“One of the greatest challenges for academia has been finding a way to measure and evaluate scholarly — as distinct from teaching — productivity,” Martin said in a news release.

“The FSP Index allows university leadership for the first time to get a clear picture of the comparative scholarly strength and vitality of their doctoral programs relative to others on an annual basis.”

Academic Analytics, LLC, based in Chester, Pa., is a joint venture between the Research Foundation of Stony Brook University and Educational Directories Unlimited, which provides higher education marketing services.

Martin, a professor of Anthropology and an expert on faculty productivity, is a paid consultant to and investor in Academic Analytics, which was founded to bring the index to market.

The 2005 index ranked nearly 7,300 doctoral programs in 104 disciplines at 354 institutions, up from about 6,400 programs in the first index, released last year.

“We are pleased to see some of our excellent programs recognized in this survey,” said Jeffrey Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research at VUMC. “We are now looking more closely at this survey and other tools to measure our productivity and impact.”