Publication patterns of PhD students in the Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program versus traditional programs

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review


Objective: To compare publication patterns of doctoral students in a transdisciplinary research-based PhD/MPH degree program (I-TOPP) focused on child obesity prevention to students enrolled in a traditional PhD program within the same academic units. Description: Publication records of I-TOPP (n=11) and traditional PhD (n=29) students were tracked from matched time of enrollment 2011-2013 to January 2016. Evaluation: Number of peer-reviewed publications, year of publication, number of authors and departments per publication, and number of citations on Google Scholar were compared between I-TOPP and traditional students. Statistical differences were determined by t-test, p<0.05. Conclusion and Implications: The I-TOPP students produced 4.5 ± 2.9 publications per student (49 total in 38 journals) compared to 2.1 ± 0.6 publications per student (61 total in 51 journals) produced by the traditional doctoral students, but this difference was not significant. Compared to traditional PhD students, I-TOPP students had more co-authors per publication (7.0 ± 0.4 vs. 5.3 ± 0.4, p =0.003), more departments represented per publication (3.4 ± 0.2 vs. 2.4 ± 0.2, p=0.002) and more organizations on each publication (2.35 ± 0.22 vs. 1.7 ± 0.1, p<0.001). To assess impact, the number of citations in Google Scholar was determined. The number of citations was 4-fold higher (p<0.001) per publication for I-TOPP than traditional PhD students (16.2 ± 3.7 vs. 3.1 ± 0.7). Findings suggest that transdisciplinary training does not negatively impact student publication records. Trandisciplinary trained scholars had publications with more diverse collaborations and higher impact than those from students in traditional doctoral programs. Funding: USDA Grant #2011-67001-30101
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number
Pages (from-to)S118
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
StatePublished - 2016


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