The Smithsonian creates knowledge through high-impact research in its museums, National Zoo, research centers, and field stations. Thousands of scientists and scholars working across the Institution, and with colleagues around the world, address fundamental questions in the natural and physical sciences, history, art, and culture. Visit our research center page for more information.

2,492 Book, Book Chapter, and Journal Publications out of
2,767 Total Publications Calendar Year 2019
shelves with publications

A standard measure of research productivity is the total number of scholarly publications. The measure includes journal articles, books, book chapters, and other significant research publications authored by Smithsonian staff. Publications do not capture the full range of the Smithsonian’s scholarly output in history, art, and culture, where much of our scholarship is seen in exhibitions and exhibition catalogs rather than journals. Learn more about Smithsonian research here and search Smithsonian Profiles.

608 Proposals Fiscal Year 2020
$158M Grant and Contract Awards Fiscal Year 2020

Every year, Smithsonian scholars apply or compete for additional support beyond federal appropriations from foundations, governmental agencies, private corporations, and individual donors. The number of research proposals submitted and dollar amount of research grant and contract awards are measures of research productivity and quality.  

1 Nobel Laureate * thru Fiscal Year 2020
21 Members of the National Academies thru Fiscal Year 2020
22 Active Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences thru Fiscal Year 2020
4 Members of the American Philosophical Society thru Fiscal Year 2020
National Academy of Sciences Meeting, Smithsonian Castle, 1874

The Nobel Prize is among the most prestigious awards in the world. Invited membership in national academies and societies such as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science is also considered one of the highest honors that a scientist or scholar can receive. Membership in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is the highest distinction, and generally awarded at the end of a career. (Note: an individual may belong to more than one academy or society.)

* Smithsonian radio astronomer and physicist Robert W. Wilson is a 1978 Nobel laureate in physics.

Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research/OCIO