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Placement records (and other objective measures of program quality)


HyacinthMacaw
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Hi folks,

I've read advice on this forum to always check the placement records of the programs I'm considering. Might I ask what this means? If all alumni between two programs landed postdoc positions or tenure-track appointments, is there any way to rank the placement records of the two programs? Perhaps alumni at major research universities is a plus, while a spotty track record that includes alumni employed as adjuncts or at community colleges is a minus?

What are other relatively objective measures of the strength of a Ph.D. program in psychology? Should I look for publications in major journals (including a record of publishing theses and dissertations)? Productivity (X number of publications per year)? Grants? I'm just brainstorming here and would love to hear what you think.

(This is aside from other aspects of a program that are more open to interpretation: stature of the mentor, fit, rapport with faculty and students, etc., which are by no means less important)

Thanks!

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Hi folks,

I've read advice on this forum to always check the placement records of the programs I'm considering. Might I ask what this means? If all alumni between two programs landed postdoc positions or tenure-track appointments, is there any way to rank the placement records of the two programs? Perhaps alumni at major research universities is a plus, while a spotty track record that includes alumni employed as adjuncts or at community colleges is a minus?

What are other relatively objective measures of the strength of a Ph.D. program in psychology? Should I look for publications in major journals (including a record of publishing theses and dissertations)? Productivity (X number of publications per year)? Grants? I'm just brainstorming here and would love to hear what you think.

(This is aside from other aspects of a program that are more open to interpretation: stature of the mentor, fit, rapport with faculty and students, etc., which are by no means less important)

Thanks!

From what I've heard (i'm wondering this also) is that if schools are relatively equal you should go with the better mentor. So if mentor A has tenure and publishes a lot it is better than assistant professor mentor B. I'm also curious on responses too!

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The h-index, e-index, and the article below may help (if you're in social psych). They're all estimators of citation impact (and the last one takes into account career stage as well).

http://psp.sagepub.c...3.full.pdf+html

Thanks! Using Publish or Perish software and Nosek's cumulative and career-stage impact score calculator, I can compare individual mentors instead of entire programs. I had the impression that a particular mentor had published a sizable body of work, and indeed he had, but I didn't realize that he wasn't cited very often for every paper he published. This seems like an indication that not many people were reading his work.

In all, the citation impact score seems like a good and valid measure of stature in the field, if ever there was one.

Edited by HyacinthMacaw
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