Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether the distribution of publications among academic radiology departments in the United States is Gaussian (ie, the bell curve) or Paretian. Methods: The search affiliation feature of the PubMed database was used to search for publications in 3 general radiology journals with high Impact Factors, originating at radiology departments in the United States affiliated with residency training programs. The distribution of the number of publications among departments was examined using χ2 test statistics to determine whether it followed a Pareto or a Gaussian distribution more closely. Results: A total of 14,219 publications contributed since 1987 by faculty members in 163 departments with residency programs were available for assessment. The data acquired were more consistent with a Pareto (χ2 = 80.4) than a Gaussian (χ2 = 659.5) distribution. The mean number of publications for departments was 79.9 ± 146 (range, 0-943). The median number of publications was 16.5. The majority (>50%) of major radiology publications from academic departments with residency programs originated in <10% (n = 15 of 178) of such departments. Fifteen programs likewise produced no publications in the surveyed journals. Conclusion: The number of publications in journals with high Impact Factors published by academic radiology departments more closely fits a Pareto rather than a normal distribution.
- Pareto distribution
- academic radiology
- research productivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging