Just this morning, a team of researchers went live with a website that ranks accounting programs’ research by topic and methodology. If you’ve ever wondered which accounting programs are the strongest in analytical methodology, based on published research in the past 6, 12, or 20 years by faculty currently in the program, this site can tell you. If you’ve ever wondered which accounting programs are the strongest in managergial research across all methodologies, this site can tell you. Or, if you’ve ever wondered which accounting programs are the strongest in financial reporting research using experimental methodologies, this site can tell you. But one warning: Be prepared when you go to this site to lose at least a half hour or more of your time. There are just so many interesting ways to slice this data.

Let me tell you a little bit more about the website. First, as described on the website,

The rankings are based on the research paper, “Accounting Program Research Rankings By Topic and Methodology,” forthcoming in Issues In Accounting Education . These rankings are based on classifications of peer reviewed articles in 11 accounting journals since 1990.

Note also that the accounting research program rankings are based on the faculty who are currently at a particularly university. So, for example, if a researcher moves from university X to university Y, all of her publications will be included in the ranking calculation for university Y on this site. So, the underlying assumption about accounting program research is that the strength is portable—it travels with faculty members.

Well, I’ll not spend any more time telling you about the website or the paper. Instead, I encourage you to visit the Accounting Program Research Rankings by BYU website, and decide what you think. As with any research, there are important limitations and you are likely to have questions and concerns. But even with those limitations and concerns that you are bound to note, there is a tremendous amount of knowledge (we might even call it transparency, if we knew how to define that) conveyed in this data and the insightful way the authors have tabulated it.

Speaking of transparency and in the interest of full disclosure, all of the researchers who wrote the article and created the website have ties to BYU, where I am a faculty member. I am proud of the work my colleagues have done on this website, and I apologize if I haven’t been skeptical or balanced enough in this post. My goal here is simply to point you to the site and let you draw your own conclusions. Enjoy, and start your timers now…