UCSC Ranks Seventh in the Faculty Media Impact Project

May 27, 2014


The Division of Social Sciences' Psychology department ranks sixth in the study's examination of psychology programs nationwide. The image above is of Professor of Psychology Nameera Akhtar conducting research in an experimental session.

The Center for a Public Anthropology, an organization that encourages scholars and their students to address public problems in public ways, conducted a comprehensive study that examines how social sciences faculty share their research with the broader public.

Instead of ranking faculty on citations in academic publications, the Faculty Media Impact Project measures references across media. The study found that UCSC ranks seventh in the country.

When broken down by subject, UCSC's Psychology department ranks in at #6, Politics #10, Economics #24, Anthropology #34 and Sociology #49. The study looked at over 6000 news sources from the Google news archive, 50,000 search queries, 12,000 professors and 94 research universities over 2006 - 2011 to assess ways in which knowledge is shared.

Dean Sheldon Kamieniecki points out that "given that much, perhaps most, of social sciences research is publicly funded today, media citations draw attention to the scholars who offer something back to society."

As the Center asks: "Presently, a social scientist's academic impact is assessed by tracking citations in academic journals. Should an individual's public impact be assessed, in a parallel manner, by tracking citations in the public media? Given the degree to which social science research is publicly funded, should tenure and promotion reviews broaden their purview to assess not only an individual's academic but also public impact?"

For more information about the Faculty Media Project, please visit their website here.