Dal faculty and alumni among Canada’s most productive clinical psychology researchers

- December 20, 2023

L to R: Drs. Christine Chambers, Jill Chorney, Simon Sherry, and Sherry Stewart. (Provided photos)
L to R: Drs. Christine Chambers, Jill Chorney, Simon Sherry, and Sherry Stewart. (Provided photos)

There is a strong Dalhousie connection among the country’s most productive clinical psychology professors in terms of research output, according to a new study published in Canadian Psychology, the national publication of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).

Four Dal faculty and two alumni are listed in the top 15 per cent of Canada’s most productive clinical psychology professors, with faculty members Drs. Sherry Stewart, Christine Chambers, Jill Chorney, and Simon Sherry, along with alumni Melanie Noel (PhD’13) and Joel Katz (MA’80), ranked in their respective categories for men and women.

Dr. Aaron Newman, chair in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, praised the efforts of not only the faculty members identified in the study, but the department as a whole.

“The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is proud of the important work being done by our faculty and students on mental health,” says Dr. Newman. “We are committed to finding the best evidence-based approaches to properly diagnosing and treating mental health concerns, and it’s great to see the impact these efforts are having. Our faculty and students are also actively engaged in putting this research into practice, through initiatives such as our community-based clinic, the Centre for Psychological Health, and Solutions for Kids in Pain.”

Reommended reading: Dal and Nova Scotia launch Centre for Psychological Health for vulnerable populations

Breaking down the most productive professors

Conducted by researchers from the University of Regina, the University of Ottawa, and Queen’s University, the replication study used the Web of Science database to update normative data for publication counts, citations, and h-indices (a metric used for evaluating the impact of an author’s publications) over a 10-year period for professors from CPA-accredited programs. The study notes that since normative data was last compiled in 2012, the clinical psychology field has grown in popularity, with the CPA accrediting six additional programs and research productivity increasing. The demographics of the clinical psychology field have also shifted, with the number of women outpacing men.

To promote equity and recognize individual achievements, the study grouped professors by gender and career status, with separate categories for early-career (0-10 years since PhD graduation), mid-career (11-20 years), and late-career (21+ years) researchers. The top 15 per cent most productive men and women professors were invited to be named in the study, and of the 37 total researchers included, six have a Dal connection, through their status as current faculty members or alumni (or both).

Among women, professors Sherry Stewart and Christine Chambers were listed in the late-career category, with associate professor Jill Chorney named in the mid-career category. Alum Melanie Noel (PhD’13), an associate professor at the University of Calgary, was represented in the early career category. Drs. Stewart, Chambers, and Chorney also earned undergraduate degrees at Dal before returning to join the faculty.

In the men’s rankings, professor Simon Sherry was included in the mid-career category, with alum Joel Katz (MA’80), a professor at York University, listed among late-career researchers.

“I’m proud to see so many Dal alumni represented in these rankings,” says Dr. Chuck Macdonald, dean of the Faculty of Science. “Whether they have taken an undergraduate degree that provided the foundation for future studies or a doctoral program that prepared them to become a practicing clinical psychologist, it’s heartening to see alumni from all levels making their mark in the field across Canada.”

The full paper, titled “Assessing the Publication Productivity of Clinical Psychology Professors in Canadian Psychological Association-Accredited Canadian Psychology Departments: A 10-Year Replication Study,” can be accessed through Dalhousie Libraries.


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