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Promotion & Tenure Resource Guide

This guide is intended to provide resources useful to individuals who need to evaluate research and its impact. It includes journal acceptance rates, citation analysis, impact factors, journal rankings, creating publication lists, etc.

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This guide is intended to be helpful to someone looking for information to showcase their academic publishing or scholarly visibility. Tenure-track faculty often struggle with ways to present information in their promotion or tenure review portfolio. This same sort of data is used to justify the existence of research programs. Traditionally, elements have included: numbers of times their publications have been cited, journal acceptance rates and journal impact factors. In the electronic age, this has expanded to include non-traditional elements such as number of webpage visits (e.g., for tutorials authored by the faculty member under review), download statistics for PDF, Excel, or Word documents; and, new citation metrics such as the h index or Eigenfactor score.

To learn how to conduct a cited reference search (in the Web of Science Core Collection and many other sources such as Google Scholar), consult the Cited Reference Guide. Then, use the remaining tabs in this guide for ideas on things that might help manage information and present it for your review.

For additional information specific to a given discipline, we recommend you contact your subject librarian and consult senior faculty in your department.

Alternative Sources

Thanks to the Internet, there is an ever-increasing array of resources available to provide quantitative data about a given publication (especially if it is available online). For example:

Journal editors and publishers often offer download or page hits for articles. Some editors will even tell you what the average number of downloads is for a specific journal that you can then compare to your article(s). While usage data is not the same as citation data, it is another way to show usefulness to scholars.

For some disciplines, these alternative sources of information maybe unacceptable or inadmissable. Web of Science publishers are attempting to cover just the "core" journals in each discipline so being cited by this select group of core journals can often carry more weight than alternative sources of citation information such as Google Scholar. However, many interdisciplinary areas (and new fields) are not covered well by Web of Science so alternative sources may be the only way to document scholarly impact. If in doubt about what might (or might not) be acceptable in your discipline, consult senior faculty or your department chair.

Your Librarian

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Lorrie Pellack
Head, Research & Instruction Services Dept.
150c Parks Library
Ames, IA 50011-2140
Phone: 515-294-5569