Factors that influence the publishing productivity of faculty in physical therapist education programs
With less than a decade of experience as a compulsory graduate discipline, Physical Therapy (PT) is a relative newcomer to the culture and expectations of graduate faculty roles. Legitimacy as a graduate discipline and progress in development of a cogent professional science depend on the extent to which PT faculty members fulfill their roles as scholars. The purpose of this study was to understand how individual, environmental, career and work factors influence the publishing and other scholarly productivity of faculty members in PT education programs.
I conducted a survey of faculty members in accredited entry level PT programs in the United States. The survey was administered electronically via the Internet with follow up to nonrespondents via standard mailing. Survey data included sociodemographic characteristics, career factors, environmental factors, and measures of scholarly productivity. Following cleaning and coding of data and descriptive analysis, I constructed blocked hierarchical regression models to investigate factors that explain or predict productivity in publishing and other forms of scholarship.
I obtained a total usable response rate of 520, or 58% of faculty surveyed. The sample obtained was representative of faculty by sex, institutional type and academic credentials. There are relationships among factors such as gender, highest degree, discipline of highest degree, work preference, work allocation and scholarly productivity. The regression models explain half the variance in career publishing productivity and 28% to 44% of the variance in productivity in presentations and grants. Career factors such as appointment, rank and degree, and work factors such as work preference and time allocation explain the majority of the variance for most models.
The negative relationships between gender and a variety of career, environmental and productivity factors suggest a pattern of cumulative disadvantage for women that are important for this majority-female profession to recognize and address. Gender issues as well as the important career and work issues highlighted by the results require the attention of the national leadership, academic administrators and individual faculty members in PT if the profession is to move forward with its scholarly agenda.
0745: Higher education