Last week, AARC scholars Bill Savage and Anthony Olejniczak discussed their recent paper “More journal articles and fewer books: Publication practices in the social sciences in the 2010’s” and took questions from an engaged audience. The video playback of this event is now available (link below) and we look forward to continuing the conversation about publication patterns in higher education research.
Scholars Valerie Bostwick (Kansas State University) and Bruce Weinberg (The Ohio State University) recently published a study measuring the effects of year-to-year variations in Ph.D. student cohort gender composition on persistence and degree completion. Their research utilizes AARC faculty rosters across Ohio-based STEM Ph.D. programs at public universities. The paper was published in the Journal of Labor Economics (10.1086/714921); supplementary material in the form of a data file is also available (https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/suppl/10.1086/714921).
Academic Analytics Research Center (AARC) is looking for a freelance writer to summarize scholarly journal articles about scientometrics and higher education for a highly educated audience of non-specialists. We are looking for someone who can distill selected articles into news briefs, blog posts, and announcements for audiences that include senior university administrators, research faculty, and the wider audience of the AARC community. If you are interested, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume and three writing samples. If it’s not right for you, feel free to pass this to others who may be a good fit.
Scholars Tomasz Obloj (HEC Paris) and Todd Zenger (University of Utah) recently published a study of pay transparency in the US academic workplace. The paper was published in Nature Human Behaviour (10.1038/s41562-022-01288-9) and the authors also publicly deposited their data and code (10.3886/E155541V1). The study merged salary information obtained via FOIA requests to faculty rosters and productivity metrics provided by Academic Analytics. The study explored whether “staggered shocks” (the time when salary information was made publicly available online) had a relationship with pay equity. The authors found that pay transparency resulted in greater pay equity (“the fairness and consistency with which an institution or department allocates pay to individuals”) and pay equality (“the equivalence of pay,” e.g. between men and women). Interestingly, “pay for performance” (e.g., performance-based salary) show the opposite pattern; in the author’s words, “Pay transparency prompts those allocating pay to weaken the link between observable performance metrics and pay” and “the financial rewards linked to observable performance metrics as well as rank advancement substantially decline after wages become more transparent.”
On Thursday, February 10, 2022, AARC scholars presented about recently studied winners of academic honorific awards. The study included 14,139 awards, ranging in scope from Nobel Prizes to scholarly societies’ “Outstanding Young Researcher” and explored a variety of research questions. The presenters reviewed their findings and answered questions from participants.
AARC Senior Researcher Bill Savage and I recently published an article in PLOS ONE documenting changing publishing practices in the social sciences. In short, social scientists are, by and large, publishing more journal articles and fewer books than they were a decade ago. The trends we observed are much stronger than we anticipated - journal article publication has increased as much as 64% between 2011 and 2019, while book publication is down as much as 54% in the same period, with some variation across disciplines. The publication patterns of social science fields are becoming more similar to those of STEM areas, and less similar to the humanities.
My colleagues Bill Savage, Dick Wheeler, and I recently published an opinion article in the journal Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics (https://doi.org/10.3389/frma.2022.812312). This paper is meant to accompany the expansive dataset on publishing patterns across disciplines that we recently made public (https://osf.io/myaut/). In short, this article is meant to highlight that academe’s growing use of bibliometrics to evaluate academic units must be done judiciously, and even the best-intended bibliometric indicators do not always consider myriad factors specific to the discipline in question, as well as the individual who authored those publications.
In November 2021, AARC hosted a webinar by researchers Sarah Rovito, Divyansh Kaushik, and Surya Dev Aggarwal of MIT discussing their study on the impact of international scholars on US research outputs an competitiveness. We’re delighted to make the playback of this webinar accessible to all. Please check out our conversation with the authors in the video below to learn more about this important research.
AARC is proud to support Academic Analytics’ recent statement on the use of quantitative information in promotion and tenure decisions. Our research at AARC seeks to emphasize the humanity of researchers, and to underscore that the people who produce research are separate from – and greater than – the quantified representation of their research outputs. We echo the below points from the Academic Analytics position statement:
United States universities have a long history of welcoming international scholars as faculty members. International scholars contribute to the advancement of the US research enterprise in profound ways, across all areas of scholarship and R&D. Recently, AARC was approached to supply data to a team of researchers exploring the contributions of international scholars, and we were delighted to see that study published in MIT Science Policy Review.