Three Faculty Members of the College Rank Among ‘Hit Parade’ of Scholarly Productivity — Kevin Beaver, Abigail Fagan and Brian Stults

May 22, 2012

Filed Under: Faculty, Research

Three faculty members of the College — Kevin Beaver, Abigail Fagan and Brian Stults— have been found to be among the nation’s most productive criminology and criminal justice scholars in a study that focuses on academic rank to reveal both rising academic stars and the top stars overall.

The study, “Criminology and Criminal Justice Hit Parade: Measuring Academic Productivity in the Discipline,” conducted by Heith Copes, David N. Khey and Richard Tewksbury, was published May 15 in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.

In an evaluation 504 regular, tenure-earning faculty members at 35 criminology and criminal justice doctoral-granting institutions, overall faculty member ranks were determined by six measures of productivity: total articles written; annual articles written; total cites; annual cites; the “h-index” (a blended measure of quality and quantity); and the “m-Quotient” (a measure that divides length of career by the h-index).
Given the national attention and strong professional interest in the US News & World Report’s rankings of university academic programs which are based primarily upon peer perceptions, numerous criticisms and concerns have been raised about these rankings. Therefore, peer-reviewed studies, like the current study, which seeks specific empirical indicators of faculty and academic program quality in their respective rankings are a welcomed and important addition to the US News & World Report’s rankings.

Associate professor Kevin Beaver ranked as the No. 1 most productive criminologist in the nation when measured by the number of articles published each year. Since he earned his PhD in 2006, Beaver has published 99 articles and is publishing at a rate of more than 16 articles each year. Among associate-level professors, Beaver was ranked No. 1 in four of the six measures of productivity: total articles written, annual articles written, annual cites and m-Quotient. His h-index was ranked No. 6 and his total citations were ranked No. 7.

Kevin Beaver’s research in bio-social criminology has led to an empirical and theoretical resurgence in criminological inquiry. His research findings have provided compelling evidence that various forms of criminal and violent behavior reflect both nurture (i.e., social environment) and nature (i.e., individual biology).

Among the top 15 assistant professors in the nation, assistant professor Abigail Fagan tied for No. 3. Her h-index was ranked No. 2, her total cites were ranked No. 4, and her total articles written was ranked No. 5.

Abigail Fagan is an expert on various deviant behavior prevention efforts. Her work is distinguished by careful empirical inquiry that is simultaneously aimed at informing public policy and related prevention program practices.

In addition, assistant professor Brian Stults was ranked at No. 15. His annual cites was ranked No. 1, his total cites was ranked No. 2, and his h-index was ranked No. 4.

Brian Stult’s research has focused upon urban area demographics and crime. His work is characterized by the use of major data sets to test and refine theories capable of explaining, predicting and guiding various urban crime related prevention strategies.