Thursday, October 19, 2006

OK, just a comment on a comment about professors and work

From the comments of an earlier post -
FYI: I performed a quick search using a professional database tool just now (for my former colleagues at SIU, of which there are approximately thirty), and found that, in the last six years, approximately 240 papers have been listed on said database. This works out to 1.3 papers per year per person. (By way of comparison, I averaged a little over 2 per year.)

This search doesn't include all publications, but it does pick up most. It should also be noted that four of the people in the department racked up 28, 18, 16, and 14 publications over said period, respectively, so that the remaining people average one per year -- and several have 0, 1, or 2 listings for 2001-06.
I think this is about what I expected. The average professors wouldn't quite get tenure based on the last 6 years, the people who are a little below the mean certainly wouldn't get it. Kind of interesting isn't it?

I wonder if it is easy to run all the professors on campus? :O


Anonymous said...

In Don's old department a few senior faculty are involved in working with the K12 system and some do admistrative work. One can debate if their time is well spent, but they are not RIP. However, it clearly is not a strong deptartment and there are 3-4 people who do little beyond showing up for their classes.

To get productively info on other departments you can search the relavent data bases or you can ask the deans for copies of the annual productivity reports each department has to submit. These tabulate publications, presentations and grant activity. You might even start a campaign to have these posted on the web. Of course NRC rankings are already aviable. These however incorporate both quanity and quality.

There are faculty who publish regularly but whose work is just not very interesting or inovative.

Jon Bean said...

"the remaining people average one per year"

Actually, in the article-based fields I know (e.g., Political Science), this is what you need for tenure, so it doesn't support the Gregory thesis. However, I don't know what department this is, what counted as an "article" (were they all peer-reviewed?).

Peter in Carbondale said...

I'm going to guess that Don would have mentioned if the paper count included bogus journals.

I'm glad to hear that in at least one department that only 10% of the professors are RIP and the rest may not be doing great, are at least in motion.

I think one of the things that bothers me is that Don has left SIU. Maybe we can get him to take over this blog? He writes far better than I do. :)

If I'm going to get status reports from SIU administrators will I have to file a FOIA first? I'm not certain I'm loved in Anthony Hall these days (keeps me up nights).

don said...

The database I used in my search is regarded as the standard in the mathematics profession. It excludes poorly-regarded journals; if an article is reviewed for said database, it is because said paper is perceived to contain novel content. Thus, survey articles, biographical sketches, et cetera are not reviewed (but may be listed, depending on the journal in which said paper appears).

On another note, thanks for the kind words, Peter. If only I had the time to moderate a blog! :)

Speaking of which, it's back to grading exams and preparing for today's lectures....

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it isn't easy to run all the professors on campus.

The mathematics database has a standardized field for Institution Code. That feature makes easy to search for articles from SIUC's math department. Databases in some other subjects don't standardize the way they enter institution information or don't include author affiliation at all.

In addition, there's the issue of tracking the literary fiction, musical performances and art exhibits that are some professors' scholarly work.

Are you ready for some sleepless nights worrying if Anthony Hall likes you?