Scholarly Productivity in Behavior Analysis: The Most Prolific Authors and Institutions from 1992 to 2001

Article excerpt

Behavior analysis has matured as a discipline such that there are now over a dozen peer-reviewed journals devoted exclusively to its subject matter. In recent years, researchers have published with increasing frequency a number of bibliometric analyses in which journal content has been quantified and used as an index of research and publication practices in the field. The purpose of the current article was to identify the most prolific authors and institutions in behavior analysis from 1992 to 2001 by reviewing 10 journals that well represented its basic, applied, and conceptual/theoretical areas. The authors and affiliations of each of the articles included in our database were recorded, summed, and ranked. Results identified leading researchers and institutions in the discipline and demonstrated the breadth of journal outlets in which behavior analysts publish.

Keywords: scholarly productivity; behavior analysis journals; bibliometric analyses.

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The field of behavior analysis has matured to the point that there are now over a dozen peer-reviewed journals devoted exclusively to its content. Consequently, researchers have published with increasing frequency a number of bibliometric analyses in which journal content has been quantified and used as an index of research and publication practices in the field. Topics of bibliometric analyses of the behavioral literature include journal citation trends (Carr & Britton, 2003), assessment practices (Gresham, Gansle, & Noell, 1993), and general characteristics of applied behavior-analytic research (Northup, Vollmer, & Serrett, 1993), among others.

The authorship of behavioral publications has also received considerable attention. For example, behavioral journals have been evaluated to assess the prevalence of editors as authors (Mathews, 1997), women as authors (McSweeney, Donahoe, & Swindell, 2000), new versus established authors (Dunlap, Clarke, & Reyes, 1998), and international authors (Dymond, Clarke, Dunlap, & Steiner, 2000). In addition, Hayes and Grundt (1996) assessed, as an index of scholarly productivity, the publication frequencies of individual authors and institutions in applied behavior analysis and therapy from 1974 to 1994. The authors' assessment yielded a list of the top 50 authors and institutions in applied behavior analysis and therapy. Assessments such as this one (see also Logan, Lott, & Mayville, 2000) can be useful for clarifying expert resources, assisting students in their selection of graduate schools, and recognizing the achievements of prolific authors and institutions.

Hayes and Grundt (1996) focused on journals in applied behavior analysis and behavior therapy, which necessarily excluded journals, and thus authors and institutions that primarily publish basic research and conceptual/theoretical analyses. Although the authors' findings might be representative of the applied branch of our field, they are most likely not representative of behavior-analytic scholarship in general.

Thus, the purpose of the current investigation was to extend the work by Hayes and Grundt by (a) including only journals whose content is primarily behavior analytic (ensuring coverage of applied, basic, and conceptual/theoretical areas). In addition, we evaluated publications from the most recent decade (as opposed to 1974-1994) to highlight authors and institutions that are currently productive as opposed to those whose contributions might have been made in earlier years.

Method

Issues of behavior analysis journals published between 1992 and 2001 were procured for subsequent coding. To be included on the target journal list, a journal must have (a) been published for at least 2 years, (b) included peer-reviewed articles as its modal publication, and (c) included "behavior analysis" or some variation in its title or (d) been published by Association for Behavior Analysis, Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, or Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. …