Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's a miracle!

The VERY long-awaited assessment of research doctoral programs by the National Research Council is, so they say, going to be released on September 28.

I think that makes this update of the 1982 and 1995 reports about two years late.

Why? Could the fact that they will release a revised version of the Methodology guide, updating the 2009 update of the 2003 report that proposed a methodology for this new set of rankings have anything to do with it?

It sure sounds like they kept tweaking the methodology until they got what they wanted. Will there be a hue and cry? We will see. The biggest problem is that the data it uses are so old that they will probably have to start the next study before ink is dry on this one.

However ...

I can't wait to see if that means "traditional" top schools remain above one physics program that I thought should have been marked with a bullet (record rating lingo) based on some of the raw data from 1995. Those data suggested that one program in particular had higher cites and other objective measures of research quality than the schools between it and #1.

For the record, that program was #10 UC Santa Barbara. Their Pubs per faculty number was second only to #1 Harvard, and their cites per faculty (178) exceeded Harvard (170) as well as #2 Princeton (110) and #3 MIT (121). Notice that gap? I sure did.

2 comments:

cherishthescientist.net said...

Who needs actual data when you have an opinion to support?! :-)

Doctor Pion said...

Heh heh.

FYI, the data that put UC Surfing Branch at #10 in the 1995 report were the subjective rankings by other programs. I figure "reputation" lags reality by quite a few years.