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Tenure Words & Metrics

VU International News and Reviews No. 121 October 08 2018

October 2018

3.2 Altmetrics, Assessment, Research

Juan Pablo Alperin from Simon Fraser University in Canada has led research on How significant are the public dimensions of faculty work in review, promotion, and tenure documents?.

Analysing review, tenure and promotion documents from a representative sample of 129 Canadian and American universities, they did find terms and concepts related to public and community are mentioned in a large portion of documents, but mostly in ways that relate to service—an undervalued aspect of academic careers. They did, however, find significant mentions of traditional research outputs and citation-based metrics which reward faculty work targeted to academics and mostly disregard the public dimensions. They conclude that institutions that want to live up to their public mission need to work towards systemic change in how faculty work is assessed and incentivized.

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