Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association

Document Type





Purpose/Hypothesis: Physical therapy (PT) faculty are required to participate in scholarly endeavors. Scholarly productivity is frequently evaluated based on quantity of production.1-3 This approach fails to account for quality (e.g. authorship order, presentation audience, or funding). Study aims: 1) compare PT program scholarly productivity valuations between programs of varying Carnegie Classification, 2) establish a scholarly activity measure which accounts for quality, and 3) provide an applied example of the new measure. Number of Subjects: PT Program Directors from CAPTE institutions (n=226) were surveyed using Dillman’s protocol.4

Materials/Methods: Respondents were asked to value (0 – 20) 30 scholarly activities (e.g., grants, publications, presentations, patents). A peer reviewed publication was the benchmark (score of 10) to which all options were compared. Nine additional questions asked about bonus value (0-100%) for impact factor, authorship order, role on a grant, and grant competitiveness. The mean for each component was the value that component contributed to the Scholar Score. Comparisons were performed via ANOVA models.

Results: We received 59 responses (response rate 26%) from Professors (n=28), Associate Profs (n=28), and Assistant Profs (n=3) from institutions of Carnegie Classifications: Doctoral (n=26), Masters (n=22), and Special Focus (n=11).

Significant effects of classification were observed for two of the bonus items: Last Author (p=.015) and Role as Co- PI/PI on a Grant (p=.03). Post hoc comparisons using the Bonferroni correction indicated Last Author and Grant Role assigned bonuses were less for Masters programs than for Doctoral programs [(M=25.9, SD=28.7 vs. M=53.5, SD=34.4, p=.02) and (M=49.0, SD=32.5 vs. M=77.3, SD=36.7, p=.03), respectively]. No other pairwise comparisons were significant.

Responses were used to develop a Scholar Score based on perceived quality. Scholarly achievements from curriculum vitaes of two early-career PT faculty demonstrates the application of this new measure. While the numerical count of their scholarly products was identical, Scholar Scores differed by >70%.

Conclusions: The Scholar Score was developed from PT Program Director input. Directors from different Carnegie Classified institutions reported similar values for most components. This indicates the Scholar Score may be generalizable to PT faculty across all Carnegie Classifications. Our application example demonstrates how quantity and quality-based descriptions differ. Clinical Relevance : Scholarly activity plays an integral role in the career advancement of the PT faculty. A Scholar Score offers a clear and uniform, peer validated approach to the valuation of scholarly activities for PT educators. KEYWORDS: faculty development, research, early career.


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  2. Hinman MR, Brown T. Changing profile of the physical therapy professoriate--are we meeting CAPTE's expectations? J Phys Ther Educ. 2017;31(4):95-104.
  3. Emerick, T., et al. (2013). "Scholarly activity points: a new tool to evaluate resident scholarly productivity." British Journal Of Anaesthesia 111(3): 468-476.
  4. Dillman DA. Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2000.
  5. Tscharntke T. Author sequence and credit for contributions in multiauthored publications. PLoS biology. 01;5(1):e18.
  6. Richter RR. Journal publication productivity in academic physical therapy programs in the United States and Puerto Rico from 1998 to 2002. Phys Ther. 03;88(3):376-386.