ISU astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez’s stellar publication record outshines colleagues

Robert L. Crowther, II

In further attempts to try and justify the e-mail lynching of Guillermo Gonzalez by his ISU colleagues during their secret tenure deliberations, there are a few folks trying to make a case that Gonzalez’s prestigious record of publication isn’t up to snuff, and that somehow he’s not been productive during his time at ISU. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It’s interesting to note the high publication rate of Gonzalez compared to other ISU astronomers in 2006. Gonzalez’s raw publication count in 2006 alone was six publications — which was equaled only by one other astronomer in the department. (Download file)
Here’s a breakdown of his annual raw publications since coming to ISU according to the Smithsonian / NASA Astrophysics Data System:
2001: 6
2002: 6
2003: 8
2004: 2
2005: 5
2006: 6
So he peaks in 2003 but ends in 2006 just as high as he was when he started at ISU. Moreover, he outperformed all ISU astronomy faculty in normalized publications during that period. The one year that is obviously less happens to be the same year that he co-authored an astronomy textbook published by Cambridge University Press.

One of Dr. Gonzalez’s recent accomplishments at ISU that has received less attention is his co-authorship of a prestigiously published astronomy textbook, Observational Astronomy. Published by Cambridge University Press and also peer-reviewed, the textbook is used in Dr. Gonzalez’s own department to teach astronomy. Aside from his own department, universities internationally use Observational Astronomy, including University of Toronto, New Jersey’s Science & Technology University, University of Manitoba, Valparaiso University, and Franklin and Marshall College. Prestigious textbook authorship is a new avenue of scholarship for Dr. Gonzalez since he joined ISU. How can his critics sustain the claim that he has not “started new things” at ISU?

But Gonzalez quickly recovered his high publication rate after publishing the textbook. According to the information compiled in the memo filed in his appeal to the Board of Regents of the State of Iowa, he has published more than many ISU astronomers since 2006, and in fact leads all ISU astronomers who evaluated his tenure in normalized publications since 2006:
Additionally, an extremely important measure of a scientist’s reputation is the impact his or her research is having upon a field as measured by the number of citations to that scientist’s work in research articles by other scientists. In short, the more times a scientist’s work has been cited by others, the greater the impact of his work on his particular field. By this standard, Iowa State University (ISU) astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez has performed incredibly well, despite his denial of tenure by ISU.

No matter how they spin it, one thing is clear, Gonzalez was professionally qualified for tenure. Intolerant Darwinists at ISU just didn’t want to give it to him because he’s a proponent of intelligent design.

Robert Crowther, II

Robert Crowther holds a BA in Journalism with an emphasis in public affairs and 20 years experience as a journalist, publisher, and brand marketing and media relations specialist. From 1994-2000 he was the Director of Public and Media Relations for Discovery Institute overseeing most aspects of communications for each of the Institute's major programs. In addition to handling public and media relations he managed the Institute's first three books to press, Justice Matters by Roberta Katz, Speaking of George Gilder edited by Frank Gregorsky, and The End of Money by Richard Rahn.