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Virginia Tech adjunct and colleagues refute a study on 'racial bias' report in NIH awards
Date:1/31/2013

athematics to address a lack of rigor in academic assessment regarding the individual contributions of co-authors. Almost all academic papers nowadays have more than one author, yet in the biomedical world "quite commonly, the first author and the corresponding author are considered the most prominent," said Wang and his co-authors in this new study, titled, "A bibliometric analysis of academic publication and NIH funding."

He and Jiansheng Yang of the School of Mathematical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China, devised their own mathematical axioms to define "a rigorous solution for academic credit sharing," and created mathematical formulas to individualize scientific productivity measures.

Next, Wang, Yang, Michael W. Vannier of the University of Chicago's Department of Radiology, James Bennett, one of Wang's graduate students, Fang Wang, Yan Deng, Fengrong Ou, and Yang Liu, all of the School of Public Health at the China Medical University, Shenyang, China, targeted for their study the top 92 American medical schools ranked in the 2011 U.S. News and World Report. Wang and Liu are the corresponding authors of this study.

Using this ranking, they gathered data from Sept. 1 to Sept. 5, 2011 on black and white faculty members in departments of internal medicine, surgery, and basic sciences from a subset of 31 schools. Further, they categorized the schools into three tiers, according to their ranking among the 92 schools. They found 130 black faculty members, and then selected 40 of them randomly. Then, they paired the 40 black faculty with 80 white faculty peers, yielding 120 samples in their initial pool. The pairing criteria included the same gender, degree, title, specialty, and university.

"The ratio of 1:2 was chosen to represent white faculty members better since the number of white faculty members is much more than that of black faculty members," Wang said.

Next they collected data sets for the two
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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