ERIC Number: ED469491
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
The Environment for Scientific Research by Undergraduates: Some Thoughts on Reading the "Academic Excellence" Study. Academic Excellence: A Study of the Role of Research in the Natural Sciences at Undergraduate Institutions. Special Report.
Tritton, Thomas R.
The "Academic Excellence" (Research Corporation, 2001) study contains quantities of interesting data. The findings of this study make it apparent that all institutions profess undergraduate research as a value, and that all institutions put resources into research. Science activity has increased in the 1990s. In general, institutions tend to fund startup and facility costs, while the government and foundations fund equipment and research projects. Many of the conclusions reached by this study might have been predicted before the study was done, but others were somewhat surprising. One item that was a pleasant surprise was than 25% of the published papers included student coauthors. Another surprise was that there are no clear, unambiguous trends in the perception of what is most needed in funding. Also surprising was that the presence of graduate programs does not generate significantly more research grants or lead to great enhancements in faculty publication profiles. Data from the study make it possible to calculate such things as the average cost of producing a paper or the productivity of different academic ranks. The study leaves unanswered many questions, but overall is a thought provoking and useful examination of faculty roles and research at predominantly undergraduate institutions. (SLD)
Descriptors: College Faculty, Educational Environment, Grants, Higher Education, Publications, Research, Undergraduate Students
For full text: http://www.rescorp.org/AE-rpt4.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Research Corp., Tucson, AZ.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Boston, MA, February 14-19, 2002). Discusses "Academic Excellence: The Sourcebook" published by the Research Corporation in 2001, and now out of print. Some sections of the sourcebook available at http://www.rescorp.org.