Three criminologists rank among ‘hit parade’ of scholarly productivity

Kevin Beaver and Brian Stults

Three faculty members of Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice — Kevin Beaver, Abigail Fagan and Brian Stults — are among the nation’s most productive criminology and criminal justice scholars, according to a study that uses 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 in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.

In an evaluation of 504 regular, tenure-earning faculty members at 35 criminology and criminal justice doctorate-granting institutions, overall faculty member ranks were determined by six measures of productivity: total articles written; annual articles written; total citations; annual citations; the “h-Index” (a blended measure of the quality and quantity of scholarly research); and the “m-Quotient” (a measure that divides length of career by the h-index).

“Despite the national attention and strong professional interest in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of university academic programs, which are based primarily upon peer perceptions, they raise numerous criticisms and concerns,” said Thomas Blomberg, dean of Florida State’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “Therefore, peer-reviewed studies such as the current study, which seeks specific empirical indicators of faculty and academic program quality in their respective rankings, are a welcome and important addition to the U.S. News & World Report 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 Ph.D. in 2006, Beaver has published 99 articles — an average 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 citations 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,” Blomberg said. “His research findings have providing compelling evidence that various forms of criminal and violent behavior reflect both nurture, or social environment, and nature, or 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 citations were ranked No. 4, and her total articles written were ranked No. 5.

“Abigail Fagan is an expert on various deviant-behavior prevention efforts,” Blomberg said. “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 citations were ranked No. 1, his total citations were ranked No. 2, and his h-Index was ranked No. 4.

“Brian Stults’ research has focused on demography and crime in urban areas,” Blomberg said. “His work is characterized by the use of major data sets to analyze urban crime and evaluate the impact of racial attitudes on issues of crime and justice.”