Nationally recognized for research excellence ‑ again

- October 24, 2005

Dalhousie has once again been recognized for our role as one of the top research-intensive universities in Canada. A study published in Science Watch this month confirmed our position among the elite. Based on "impact", or, average citations per research paper, Dalhousie was on top in Materials Science, Psychology and Psychiatry.

The Science Watch study used the Thomson Scientific University Science Indicators to examine the research of 46 Canadian universities in 21 scientific fields spanning 2000 to 2004.

Also of note, Dalhousie ranks 9th in Canada in terms of total citations, although it is the 26th largest university in Canada in terms of size. A previous ranking of research impact of Canadian universities by Science Watch in 1995 ranked Dalhousie in the top three Canadian Universities in citations per paper in only one area, Neuroscience, in which we were second to UBC.

Psychology Department Chair Richard Brown was very pleased with the results. "The Dalhousie University Psychology Department is not large and it is not rich, but we have a dedicated faculty who know how to use their brains," he says. "We have often felt that we have one of the top Psychology Departments in Canada, if not the world. We have very close links with the departments of psychiatry, pediatrics, anatomy and neurobiology, physiology and biophysics and pharmacology. The result is that psychology and psychiatry research at Dalhousie is built on a large number of collaborative research projects which enable research projects to be achieved which are difficult in larger universities."

Brown goes on to add that as a result of this collaborative approach, his department has a high rate of research productivity and publications in top journals. The high quality of the research in psychology/psychiatry at Dalhousie has been acknowledged in the Science Watch 2005 rankings of average citations per paper from 2000-2004. While Dalhousie may not be able to compete with the much larger universities in sheer number of research publications, due to sheer numbers of faculty, we have been successful in publishing high quality publications and this has given us the high ranking in areas like Psychology/Psychiatry and Materials Science. "As pointed out by Science Watch, comparatively small universities can shine when their performance is seen through the lens of citation impact," he says.

A ranking of number 1 in research impact in Psychology/psychiatry and Materials Science will help Dalhousie attract the top faculty and graduate students in these areas and maintain our position for the next decade.

Top-Ranking Universities in 21 scientific fields, 2000-2004 ranked by Impact (average citations per paper).

Scientific FieldCitations Per Paper (Impact)
PhysicsCarleton University (22.33)
ChemistryUniversity of Calgary (5.81)
Materials ScienceDalhousie University (6.50)
EngineeringUniversity of Toronto (2.42)
GeosciencesUniversity of Victoria (5.56)
Space ScienceUniversity of British Columbia (26.54)
Computer ScienceUniversity of Waterloo (1.98)
MathematicsSimon Fraser University (2.17)
Ecology/EnvironmentTrent University (6.52)
Agricultural SciencesUniversity of Montreal (4.73)
Plant/Animal ScienceUniversity of Waterloo (4.50)
Clinical MedicineMcMaster University (10.26)
ImmunologyUniversity of Western Ontario (16.03)
MicrobiologyUniversity of Toronto (8.27)
Biology & BiochemistryUniversity of Toronto (9.57)
Molec. Bio./GeneticsUniversity of Toronto (17.25)
NeurosciencesUniversity of Ottawa (9.33)
PharmacologyUniversity of Western Ontario (12.17)
Psychology/PsychiatryDalhousie University (5.86 )
EducationUniversity of Toronto (2.05)
Economics & BusinessUniversity of Western Ontario (2.25)


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