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Today@Sam Article

CJ Ph.D. Program Ranks High In Article Productivity

Jan. 26, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Elizabeth Kuhles

Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice ranks third among U.S. criminal justice doctoral programs in the number of academic articles published over the last four years, according to a recent article in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.

The ranking represents a significant increase over those in previous studies. In addition, the college ranked fourth in the number of articles on a weighed scale, which took into account the prestige of the journals and authorship share of the publications.

“This increase in publication productivity is the result of the tremendous effort of our faculty to engage in scholarship that finds its way into high impact journals in criminal justice and criminology,” said Vincent Webb, dean of the College of Criminal Justice.

“SHSU enables our faculty to work in a higher education culture that promotes high quality scholarship as well as excellence in teaching. So a combination of exceptional faculty effort and the supportive SHSU environment have made it possible for us to achieve these rankings in a relatively short period of time,” he said.

During the study period, 37 faculty produced 140 articles in criminology and criminal justice publications between 2005 and 2009, according to the article. Sam Houston was one of two institutions that showed the greatest improvement in this ranking, jumping 10 levels over the previous four-year period.

"Our faculty have raised the bar with respect to research productivity, as measured by journal publications,” said Michael S. Vaughn, assistant dean for graduate studies in SHSU’s College of Criminal Justice. “We have built tremendous momentum within our college, with new faculty hires, and by way of expanding involvement of faculty-student research collaboration.”

“We certainly are competitive across the board with other criminal justice programs,” Vaughn added. “The latest program ranking in JCJE is proof that, based on actual performance indicators, we are doing very well indeed."

In “Article Productivity among the Faculty of Criminology and Criminal Justice Doctoral Programs,” Gary Kleck, professor of criminology at Florida State University, and J.C. Barnes, assistant professor of criminology at the University of Texas at Dallas, said the value of article productivity has several benefits. It can measure the quality of the faculty and can be a good indicator for prospective students or faculty. It also can distinguish more productive from less productive programs and can boost the prestige and reputation of the program.

“Academic programs are most often evaluated based on the quality of their faculty and the most widely used quantitative method of assessing this quality is to measure the publication productivity of faculty members,” said the authors. “This single dimension obviously cannot measure everything that contributes to graduate education, but scholarly productivity is certainly one important indicator of an intellectually engaged faculty, which in turn contributes to more effective graduate training.”

The Journal of Criminal Justice Education article covers the full array of major journals in which criminology and criminal justice articles appear. It is an update of earlier studies which track article productivity from 1970 through 2009.

The most recent study covers 35 criminal justice programs across the county and included 585 faculty members who produce 2,444 refereed articles. SHSU’s College of Criminal Justice had the highest number of full-time faculty at 37.

From 2005-2009, the number of criminal justice programs in the United States grew from 30 to 35. There was also an increase of 27 percent in the number of articles published over that four-year period, an annual increase in criminal justice scholarly works of 4.9 percent annually.


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