The Department of Economics at Illinois State University ranks among the most productive in teaching-focused research. A recent study appearing in the Southern Economic Journal (January 2008) considers both publications and citations over the 1991 to 2005 period. ISU ranked fifth based on proportional citations to articles in the Journal of Economic Education and thirteenth in proportional citations to related articles appearing in all journals. These rankings place ISU with other leaders in teaching-focused research including Vanderbilt University, Indiana University, the University of Nebraska, the University of Wisconsin and the University of North Carolina.
Individual economists are recognized for their contributions as well. Professor Lon Carlson, Professor Emeritus Jack Chizmar and Professor Emeritus Tony Ostrosky all appear in the top forty list. The article also notes that ten different ISU authors contributed publications to the total count. Department Chair James Payne commented that this recognition "highlights our Department’s commitment to the notion of the scholar-teacher.”