Factors associated with increased academic productivity among US academic radiation oncology faculty

Catherine Zhang, Stephen Murata, Mark Murata, Clifton David Fuller, Charles Thomas, Mehee Choi, Emma B. Holliday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives: Publication productivity metrics can help evaluate academic faculty for hiring, promotion, grants, and awards; however, limited benchmarking data exist, which makes intra- and interdepartmental comparisons difficult. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the scholarly activity of physician faculty at academic radiation oncology (RO) departments and establish factors associated with increased academic productivity. Methods: Citation database searches were performed for all physician-faculty in US residency-affiliated academic RO departments. Demographics, National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, and bibliometrics (number of publications, Hirsch-[. h]-index, and . m-index [Hirsch index divided by the number of years since first publication]) were collected and stratified by academic rank. Senior academic rank was defined as full professor, professor, and/or chair. Junior academic rank was defined as all others. Logistic regression was performed to determine the association of academic rank and other factors with . h- and . m-indices. Results: A total of 1191 academic RO departments from 75 institutions were included in the analysis. The mean (standard deviation) number of publications and . h- and . m-indices were 48.2 (71.2), 14.5 (15), and 0.86 (0.83), respectively. The median (interquartile range) number of publications and . h- and . m-indices were 20 (6-61), 9 (4-20), and 0.69 (0.38-1.10), respectively. Recursive partitioning analysis revealed a statistically significant numeric . h-index threshold of 21 between junior and senior faculty (LogWorth 114; receiver operating characteristic, 0.828). Senior faculty status, receipt of NIH funding, and a larger department size were associated with increased . h- and . m-indices. Conclusions: Current academic RO departments have relatively high objective metrics of scholastic productivity compared with prior benchmarking analyses of RO departments and compared with published metrics from other academic medicine subspecialties. An . h-index of 21 or greater was associated with senior faculty status. Additionally, receipt of NIH funding and greater departmental size were associated with a higher . h-index. These data may be of interest to faculty preparing for promotion or award applications as well as institutional leadership evaluating their departments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 8 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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