Get that promotion

Open research is becoming increasingly recognized in promotion and tenure.

The way we evaluate academics for hiring, promotion and tenure decisions is far from perfect. But there are ongoing efforts to move away from journal-based metrics and towards alternative metrics that recognize open scholarship practices.

Using better metrics

In 2013, the American Society for Cell Biology, along with collaborating academics and organizations, released the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). So, what does DORA say?

With DORA, the emphasis is put on scientific content rather than journal label. In addition, explicit value is placed on research outputs other than articles, like shared data and code. To date, over 12,000 individuals and nearly 600 organizations and institutions have signed, pledging to uphold these recommendations.

Open scholarship in promotion and tenure guidelines

VCU Promotion and tenure committees should recognize that publication and editorial effort in open access, peer-reviewed journals or re-publication of peer-reviewed articles in an open access repository offers added value and greater public good than scholarship made only available in expensive journal publications.

The academy should adapt existing frameworks for tenure and promotion, and merit-based incentives to account for alternative forms of publication and research output including data papers, public data sets, and digital products. Value inheres in data as a standalone research output.

IUPUI is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarly activities as widely as possible and as such supports faculty participating in digital open access distribution of their scholarship.

Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)...announce[s] a pilot project recommending to faculty engaged in a review, promotion, or tenure process to use Harvard’s open-access part of their preparations.

Open scholarship success stories

In October 2015, academics from the Advancing Research Communication & Scholarship (ARCS) conference and the open access publishing platform The Winnower ran a competition to showcase and reward open scholarship stories. The collection includes 13 essays.

Jon Tennant wrote about his journey into open science, including how sharing his research has led to opportunities to write for online media, television interviews, and invitations to international conferences. Juan Pablo Alperin described how his contributions to an open source project launched his career, leading first to a job, then a PhD, and now defining his research program. Bastian Greshake recounted how he became the Mark Zuckerburg of open source genetics, as an open project he launched led to awards, funding, publications, speaking invitations, and more. Check out the many other stories of success.

Also, hear C. Titus Brown talk about how to get tenure as an open scientist in this webcast from OpenCon.

Stand out as an open scientist, and get that job or promotion.