The Smithsonian is one of the world’s foremost research entities, with thousands of scientists and scholars across its museums and research centers producing ground-breaking work in many fields of science, history, art, and culture. Visit our Research News page for more information.
A standard measure of research productivity in the social and natural sciences is the number of scholarly publications authored by Smithsonian staff. These include journal articles, books, book chapters, exhibition catalogs, and other significant publications. Another increasingly important measure is the availability of Smithsonian research datasets to other researchers. However, these numbers do not tell the full story of Smithsonian scholarly output, which is also embodied in exhibitions, websites, conference presentations, and other non-published sources. Learn more at Smithsonian Research Online and Smithsonian Profiles.
The Institution’s ability to attract fellows, interns, and research associates who wish to work with Smithsonian researchers, collections, and other resources is a measure of its stature as a research enterprise. These individuals, in turn, add to Smithsonian scientific and scholarly output. Visit the Office of Fellowships & Internships to learn more.
Every year, Smithsonian scholars apply or compete for external funds to support their research from foundations, government agencies, corporations, and individual donors. The Smithsonian’s ability to draw substantial outside funding is a measure of the quality of the work undertaken by its scholars and researchers.
Smithsonian radio astronomer and physicist Robert W. Wilson was the recipient of a 1978 Nobel Prize, one of the most prestigious scholarly awards in the world. Invited membership in national academies and societies such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences is also considered one of the highest distinctions a scientist or scholar can receive, and many Smithsonian scholars have been honored with such memberships. (Note that an individual scholar may belong to more than one academy or society.)
Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research/OCIO