By the Numbers: Academic Analytics

Sunday, February 18, 2024 - 7:45am

The college recently gained access to the Academic Analytics database, which provides insight into research productivity. Academic Analytics collects faculty-level information on grants, articles, citations, conference proceedings, books, book chapters, clinical trials, patents and awards from 500+ Ph.D. granting institutions in the U.S. More than 440,000 academic faculty are included in the data set.

Using this data, Academic Analytics provides tools to benchmark departments and colleges against peer units, institutions and disciplines, explore individual faculty career paths and match them with potential funders and awards.

The robust data and tools provide an opportunity to understand better the research happening in our college and how we compare to our peers. It will help develop a research strategy, build our reputation, and support our faculty in furthering their research goals.

There are limitations to the data. For example, the data only includes tenure-line faculty, publications with a DOI number and grants from 14 federal agencies. Due to these limitations, academic analytics is not an appropriate tool for evaluating faculty or gaining a complete understanding of college activities. However, it can still provide valuable information to move our research forward.


Academic Analytics allows us to compare the research productivity of our programs and college to other programs, colleges, institutions and disciplines. We can review individual variables, like articles or an aggregation of our scholarly research index (SRI), a methodology developed by Academic Analytics to provide comparative context for faculty or unit research productivity to taxonomy peers.

A visual evaluation of our college’s SRI percentile compared to our faculty size percentile shows that we rank right in the middle (dark blue) for research productivity compared to other mass communications colleges.

Research Insight 

In addition to benchmarking tools, academic analytics also provides tools to support individual faculty. The Research Insight tool provides data on individual faculty members’ productivity, including timelines of articles, books, book chapters, grants, awards and more. It also includes information on collaborators and faculty working in similar areas. Lastly, it suggests potential funding and awards that may be appropriate to individual faculty members.

This information can help identify potential collaborators within UNL and nationally for new projects, identify external reviewers and pursue funding and awards.

If you are interested in learning more about Academic Analytics and how the data it provides can support your research priorities, please contact Cory Armstrong.