Assessing Scholarly Productivity


  • Christine Hanish Arizona State University
  • John J. Horan Arizona State University
  • Bethanne Keen Arizona State University
  • Ginger Clark Arizona State University



Authors, Counselors, Databases, Measurement Techniques, Productivity, Psychologists, Research Methodology, Research Reports, Researchers, Scholarly Journals, Scoring


The measurement of scholarly productivity is embroiled in a controversy concerning the differential crediting of coauthors. Some researchers assign equivalent shares to each coauthor; others employ weighting systems based on authorship order. Horan and his colleagues use simple publication totals, arguing that the psychometric properties of labor-intensive alternatives are unknown, and relevant ethical guidelines for including coauthors are neither widely understood nor consistently followed. The PsycLIT and SSCI data bases provided exhaustive publication and citation frequencies for 323 counseling psychology faculty. All PsycLIT scoring permutations yielded essentially identical information; inter-correlations ranged from .96 to unity. Moreover, all PsycLIT methods correlated highly with SSCI within a very narrow band. Since attention to the number and/or ordinal position of coauthors yields no useful information, productivity should be defined parsimoniously in terms of simple publication counts. Implications for research, promotion/tenure, and the mentoring of graduate students are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Christine Hanish, Arizona State University

Christine Hanish is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at Arizona State University. She works for ASU's Preventive Intervention Research Center which specializes in the development and validation of programs for children, adolescents, and family. She is currently immersed in a research project attempting to establish the norms of scholarly behavior for academic counseling psychologists.

John J. Horan, Arizona State University

I am a professor of counseling psychology at Arizona State University. I graduated from Michigan State University and taught at Penn State before moving to ASU in 1985. Most of my writing has focused on the evaluation of cognitive-behavioral intervention strategies. For more than a decade I have been examining the experimental construct validity of these interventions. For example, do they produce changes on measures of high theoretical relevance while simultaneously failing to effect changes on measures of low theoretical relevance? Lately, I have concentrated on adapting and evaluating computer and Internet interventions for a variety of counseling problems. For a quick look at how I squandered my youth, click on my web-based vita. My most important accomplishments, however, are not listed there. I have had many extraordinary students in my career, including those who share this masthead. I feel privileged to have contributed to their professional development; they surely have enhanced my own.

Bethanne Keen, Arizona State University

Bethanne Keen received a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Arizona State University in December 1997. She is currently completing a postdoctoral residency in psychology with a large group practice in Phoenix, Arizona. She also serves as chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee for the Arizona Psychological Association. Her dissertation, currently being prepared for publication, explores the relationships between publication frequency, citation frequency and quality of research conducted by counseling psychologists in academe. She is currently involved in a research project designed to illuminate the challenges faced by new Ph.D.s in psychology to achieve employment and licensure in Arizona. Her other research interests include collection and analysis of clinical outcomes data.

Ginger Clark, Arizona State University

Ginger Clark is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at Arizona State University. She has conducted or contributed to studies in human sexual styles, parent education, parent education in career development, health habits, and quality of life for mid-life women. She has also written book reviews in the area of family therapy. Clark received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in psychology at California State University Long Beach. She is currently in her fourth year of doctoral study, and is working toward an academic position in counseling psychology.




How to Cite

Hanish, C., Horan, J. J., Keen, B., & Clark, G. (1998). Assessing Scholarly Productivity. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 6, 15.