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SRS Graduate Students No. 1 in Authoring Journal Articles

Graduate students in the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations are publishing research in top academic journals at more than twice the rate of their peers, according to a recent study in the Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.

As noted by Dr. Ye Wang, one of the study’s authors, this finding matters because it provides a glimpse into the future of scholars most likely to drive the field of advertising forward.

And Dr. Pat Stout, director of SRS, agreed. “The majority of our doctoral grads will take positions in universities around the globe and the work they have done at [The University of Texas at Austin] will influence the courses and undergraduate students they teach and the research they continue to do.”

In the study, Wang, assistant professor in Communication Studies at The University of Missouri–Kansas City, and her co-authors tracked authorship trends among graduate students publishing in five leading advertising journals between 1997 and September 2013. They conducted a content analysis to answer six research questions, including what institutions produced the greatest number of graduate student authors in advertising journals over the 17-year period.

Overall, 2,152 articles were published in the major advertising journals between 1997 and 2013. Among them, 232 articles listed 270 graduate students as authors or co-authors.

The SRS program was No. 1 with 26 graduate student authors. Rounding out the Top 5 schools were Stockholm School of Economics with 10, and University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, and University of Tennessee with seven each.

This achievement can be attributed in large part to the program’s design, which supports and nurtures a collaborative environment among faculty and students. In their first year, doctoral students take four core courses addressing theory and research. Faculty is invited to the courses to present their research, providing an opportunity for students to find like-minded professors to work with on research that may lead to publications.

Additionally, a lunch hour research colloquium series brings students and faculty together in a relaxed setting to discuss topics of interest both in and outside academia.

“Students are encouraged to talk about their work, with faculty and with one another,” Stout said. “This research collaboration is central to the success of our program. We all take pride in this.”

Despite SRS’ success in preparing graduate students to be productive scholars, there is still work to be done. Looking ahead, one of the keys is expanding available resources.

“Our doctoral students actively submit research papers to several conferences in the U.S. and abroad,” Stout said. “While the School has modest resources to help offset students’ costs for travel and registration fees, available funds are inadequate and limit how widely students can share their work publicly with peers and potential employers. The availability of additional funds would relieve students of the burden of paying out of pocket for presenting their research.”

But for now, faculty, staff, and students share the sentiment voiced by Dr. Gary Wilcox, former chair and director of graduate programs since 1998: “This number one ranking captures what our Ph.D. program has focused on for several years – being the best.”  

Photo credit: Mary Elizabeth Dunn

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Kathleen Mabley at 512-232-1417