You can debate the validity of these metrics endlessly. You can question whether citations and pubs are the best indicators of university quality and impact, and you can deliberate over whether or not the social sciences and humanities should be evaluated using metrics grounded in a physical sciences "lab output" model. Yet according to a calculation of publications and citations, Harvard University tops the recent Chronicle of Higher Ed rankings of doctoral research universities. At #2, UCSF ranks as the top public university overall, and Berkeley and UWisc are the other top placing public universities at #12 and #13 respectively (just behind Penn and Princeton, but ahead of Stanford.)

In my specialty area, my former home at Ohio State where I spent the past three years on the faculty places at #3 among media research programs, and Cornell where I did my PhD places at #5 among communication departments. When the Chronicle crunched the numbers, it's encouraging to think that my 100+ citations over the past four years helped give these programs at least a drop-in-the-bucket, mini-boost in the rankings. Congrats to all!