Pitt Faculty’s Research Paper Productivity Skyrockets, According To Thomson Reuters Analysis

Issue Date: 
January 18, 2011

The University of Pittsburgh showed the greatest jump—a threefold increase—among the 25 most publishing-productive American research universities in the total number of research papers published by its faculty in the years 2005-09 compared to the 1981-85 time period, according to an analysis of the U.S. research base by Thomson Reuters and reported recently by The Chronicle of Higher Education and Science. The number of Pitt faculty-published research papers climbed from 7,483 papers in 1981-85 to 22,457 in 2005-09.

The term “most publishing productive” connotes the fact that the 25 institutions in the Thomson Reuters Publication Output table in the Chronicle and Science articles published the greatest numbers of total papers between 2005 and 2009 and among them hold a combined 42 percent share of the overall U.S. output of papers during those years.

The Publication Output table also shows Pitt producing 1.39 percent of the total U.S. research papers in 2005-09, almost double Pitt’s .77 percent share in 1981-85. Based on that statistic, the University placed 10th among public universities and 16th among all universities, public and private, in the table’s overall listing. In addition, Pitt is shown to have ranked 5th in the absolute increase between the 1981-85 and 2005-09 time periods in its percentage share of the total number of research papers published in the United States.

The other universities in the Thomson Reuters table’s overall listing of top 10 publics are Michigan, UCLA, the University of Washington system, UC San Diego, Berkeley, the University of Maryland system, the University of Minnesota system, Wisconsin, and Florida. The private universities in the overall listing of the top 16 of all institutions of higher education are Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Penn, Columbia, and Cornell. In the table, Pitt places ahead of such other institutions of higher education as Yale, Ohio State, and MIT.

The table’s top 10 institutions for the absolute increase in percentage share of total research papers published in the United States are Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, UC San Diego, Pitt, Duke, Washington, Maryland, Columbia, and the Texas A&M system.

The table’s top five universities for the rate of increase in the total number of research papers are first-ranked Pitt as well as Johns Hopkins, Duke, Texas A&M, and UC San Diego.