FAIRBANKS - A company that ranks productivity among colleges' research faculty has placed the University of Alaska Fairbanks fifth nationally among small colleges.
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The study by Academic Analytics examined the "scholarly production" of 354 institutions that grant doctoral degrees. Researchers looked at how many scholarly publications faculty members wrote, how many competitive grants faculty members were awarded and how many times other scientists cited them in their own research.
UAF ranked fifth among institutions that offer up to 14 doctoral degrees. Other institutions in the top five include San Diego State University, Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, Wright State University in Ohio, and the University of Massachusetts Boston, which tied with UAF for the No. 5 rank.
"Productive faculty, in general, are the leaders in their fields of research," said Vice Provost Susan Henrichs said. "They are the ones that are publishing and having a strong influence on other researchers and basically are discovering things about our world and how it works."
UAF ranked high as far as how many times faculty members' research was cited by other scientists.
"We were very pleased to find out that although our research is focused (on polar studies) it has attracted a lot of attention of researchers across the country," Henrichs said. "The more times your work as a researcher is cited, the more impact you are regarded as having in your field."
For scholarly production in atmospheric and environmental sciences, UAF was ranked among the top 10 universities in the country among all institutions, not just small ones.
UAF has more than a dozen research centers and institutes and many focus on the Arctic. The university ranks 63rd out of 200 universities in the amount of money awarded from the National Science Foundation. UAF's research funding has more than doubled in the last decade, from $56.4 million in 1997 to $121 million in 2006.