Study Ranks Professor Among Top Women in Criminology

Sep. 18, 2012

The Journal of Criminal Justice Education named Dr. Nicole Leeper Piquero, professor of criminology at UT Dallas, as one of the top performing female academics in the field.

The study's authors, UT Dallas doctoral students Erin Orrick and Henriika Weir, ranked the top criminologists by examining a 10-year period between 2000 and 2010. They compiled top journals and a created a database of all female scholars who had published in those journals during that time period.

Dr. Nicole Leeper Piquero

Dr. Nicole Leeper Piquero ranked among the top three women conducting research in criminology.

Lead author Weir explained that her team decided to tackle this topic because they had previously noted an underpresentation of female scholars in similar ranking studies. 

“The results of our study revealed that while there is always a possibility that some quite productive and influential scholars are left out of the rankings depending on the sample selection criteria and research design used, there is substantive stability across different ranking studies,” Weir said.

The study identified the most productive female authors of criminology papers published in premier academic journals. To further narrow the field, the study also looked at the order of authorship – a key indicator of an author’s impact in research.

The order of authorship indicates the amount of responsibility for the work done on any given research paper.

Publication productivity is typically one of the more important yardsticks used to determine a scholar’s impact on a particular field of academic study. According to the paper, few studies have focused on the publications productivity of female scholars in criminology.

“This study nicely showcases the fact that more women are moving into academic ranks and are producing good quality research. If you dig deeper into the list, you’ll see that top women are working in a variety of different areas including, but not limited to policing, corrections, white-collar crime, victimization and theory.”

Dr. Nicole Leeper Piquero,
professor of criminlogy

Under these criteria, Leeper Piquero ranked among the top three women scholars working in the field according the research paper, and has consistently been ranked among the top criminologists, Weir said.

Additionally, the study’s findings revealed that ranking of the female scholars based on publication productivity in top journal during the last decade remained relatively stable when adjusting the rankings based on the journal’s impact factor.

“This study nicely showcases the fact that more women are moving into academic ranks and are producing good quality research,” Leeper Piquero said. “If you dig deeper into the list, you’ll see that top women are working in a variety of different areas including, but not limited to policing, corrections, white-collar crime, victimization and theory.”

Other top female criminologists ranked by Weir and Orrick are on faculty at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Florida.

“The criminology program is very fortunate to have Dr. Leeper Piquero on the faculty,” said Dr. John Worrall, head of UT Dallas’s criminology program. “She brings a wealth of credibility, experience and, of course, stature to add to an already outstanding group of colleagues.”


Media Contact: Katherine Morales, 972-883-4321, kmorales@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, 972-883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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