FOOTNOTES FEBRUARY 2000
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Departments Ranked by Journal Publications

by Barry Markovsky
University of Iowa

barry-markovsky@uiowa.edu

The Sociology program at the University of Iowa is not unique in its constant struggles to garner scarce resources from its higher administrators. Among our approaches this academic year was to present quantitative evidence of the department's productivity. We knew from John Logan's 1988 article in The Southern Sociologist that, in the 1980's at least, Iowa Sociology ranked among the "elite" sociology programs insofar as its rate of publishing in top journals. We thought that it may be useful to update this information. With the help of two of our graduate students-Will Kalkhoff and Wes Younts-I tallied recent publications by department in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology and Social Forces.

Our analysis covered the last three years worth of ASR, AJS and SF issues that were "on the shelf" as of September 15, 1999. All refereed articles were counted, including research notes, comments and rejoinders. In tallying each department's number of publications, we assigned a weight of 1.0 to each article and allocated value equally among co-authors. Thus, if an article had two authors affiliated with University A and one affiliated with University B, then A would receive a value of .67 for the article and B would receive .33. To control for the size of departments, our spreadsheet (available upon request) also included information on the number of full-time and part-time members of each department, based on the 1999 ASA Guide to Graduate Departments of Sociology.

Table 1 lists the 40 highest-ranked departments in terms of the raw number of publications. The U.S. News and World Reports offers an alternative ranking based on a 1997 reputation survey, and these ranks are shown in the right-most column of the Table. (The full report is at www.usnews.com.) Table 2 includes the number of full-time faculty and shows the calculated rates of publications per faculty. Table 3 further includes part-time and emeritus faculty in calculating rates, the rationale being that their publications are credited to their respective departments and so they should be included in the faculty counts.

There is a moderate correlation (r = .55) between the two rankings in Table 1. However, the correspondence between publication ranks and the U.S. News reputation ranks is considerably weaker with Table 2 (r = .29) and Table 3 (r = .24).

It is not surprising that Table 1 correlates most strongly with reputations because these data reflect the departments' scholarly impact via the top journals. In contrast, Tables 2 and 3 more closely reflect the scholarly impact of the typical faculty member from each department-a property that we would expect to correspond somewhat with department reputations, but not necessarily very well. Granted that many other factors are involved, but the reputation of some highly-efficient departments such as Iowa and Vanderbilt probably suffer due to their smallness, while larger sizes may help to account for the higher reputations of some of the larger but less-efficient departments. Whatever the actual forces at play, we thought that others may be interested in this analysis. q

Table 1: Total ASR, AJS and SF

Articles by Department, with 1997 U.S. News & World Reports Rankings

Department Total Rank USN
Ohio State 21.52 1 21
North Carolina 18.58 2 4
Michigan 16.11 3 4
Chicago 15.99 4 2
SUNY Albany 14.16 5 21
Stanford 11.99 6 7
Indiana 11.75 7 13
Arizona 11.41 8 10
Penn State 11.08 9 18
Iowa 10.27 10 28
Vanderbilt 9.08 11 28
Princeton 8.83 12 9
UCLA 8.33 13 6
Columbia 8.00 14 16
Duke 7.80 15 16
Washington 7.67 16 13
Wisconsin 7.01 17 1
Northwestern 6.50 18 10
Emory 5.75 19 43
NYU 5.50 20 24
Texas/Austin 5.32 21 13
Harvard 5.16 22 7
Louisiana State 5.08 23
UC Berkeley 5.08 24 2
Cornell 4.92 25 19
Maryland 4.48 26 24
Oregon 4.33 27
Virginia 4.25 28 36
UCSB 4.16 29 24
Minnesota 4.08 30 19
Connecticut 3.67 31
Penn 3.50 32 12
UC Davis 3.50 33 28
Johns Hopkins 3.39 34 21
Purdue 3.33 35 51
Georgia 3.33 36 47
Wash. State 3.33 37 35
Yale 3.00 38 28
UC Irvine 2.83 39 29
Arizona State 2.75 40 40

Table 2: Controlling for Number of Full-Time Faculty

Department FTFRateRank
Stanford14.861
North Carolina22.842
Chicago22.733
Ohio State33.654
Princeton15.595
Iowa18.576
Columbia14.576
Vanderbilt16.576
SUNY Albany27.529
Arizona22.529
Michigan33.4911
Duke18.4312
Indiana28.4213
Emory14.4114
Penn State28.4015
Johns Hopkins9.3816
Cornell14.3517
Harvard15.3418
Washington23.3319
UC Irvine9.3120
Oregon15.2921
Northwestern24.2722
Virginia16.2722
Yale12.2524
Louisiana State21.2425
UC Berkeley22.2326
NYU24.2326
Georgia16.2128
Minnesota21.1929
UC Davis18.1929
UCLA45.1929
UCSB26.1632
Penn22.1632
Connecticut24.1534
Texas/Austin35.1534
Wash. State22.1534
Maryland30.1534
Wisconsin52.1338
Purdue26.1338
Arizona State25.1140

Table 3: Controlling for No. of Full- time + part-time Faculty

Department FacultyRateRank
Iowa19.541
SUNY Albany27.522
North Carolina37.503
Ohio State43.503
Vanderbilt20.455
Chicago37.436
Stanford31.397
Princeton23.388
Indiana38.319
Michigan53.3010
Arizona38.3010
Columbia28.2912
Penn State45.2513
Harvard21.2513
Duke33.2415
Louisiana State22.2316
Washington38.2017
Virginia23.1818
Cornell27.1818
Emory34.1720
Georgia20.1720
Northwestern40.1622
Oregon27.1622
NYU36.1524
Yale20.1524
UC Davis25.1426
UC Berkeley38.1327
UCLA66.1327
UC Irvine23.1229
Johns Hopkins28.1229
Texas/Austin47.1131
Connecticut33.1131
Maryland42.1131
UCSB39.1131
Wisconsin67.1035
Wash. State32.1035
Penn35.1035
Purdue36.0938
Minnesota47.0938
Arizona State42.0740