Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, June 12, 2008

E-scholarship, tenure and review

Gary A. Olson, Certifying Online Research, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 6, 2008.

A department chairman from a nearby university recently solicited my advice on how to handle a tenure case in which the candidate's entire body of scholarship consisted of online publications.

The candidate was a valued colleague, but the department's faculty members were "extremely conservative" in their definition of acceptable scholarly work, the chairman told me. He worried that he would lose his young colleague to what he termed "generational prejudices."

"Our university has no formal policy governing electronic scholarship," he told me. "And, quite frankly, I'm in no position to judge it myself." ...

Comment. The author goes on to discuss the difficulty in assessing new electronic journals and unrefereed scholarly sites, and suggests methods for certifying unrefereed sites. N.B. This discussion is about online scholarship, not necessarily OA scholarship; but since most OA materials are primarily or entirely electronic, and many OA publications are young, they face many of the same challenges.