A preliminary investigation by Free Press staff demonstrates the new graduate program rankings offered by the Chronicle of Higher Education undercount the number of books produced by faculty members at reviewed institutions -- sometimes dramatically.

A simple search of Amazon.com, the source used by the Chronicle's data provider (Academic Analytics), directly contradicts the rankings.

For example, the Chronicle's data state that faculty at sociology departments at schools such as Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins and the University of Chicago produced zero books between 2001 and 2005. Here are three examples of books produced by faculty at these institutions during those years (via Amazon.com).

One from Chapel Hill

One from Johns Hopkins

One from the University of Chicago

Additional examples of undocumented books -- sometimes dozens within a single department -- are available via faculty searches at Amazon.com, not to mention by checking departmental websites.

With problems like these, what other surprises await users of the Chronicle's data?