[The following program proposal is part of an ongoing series on Reinventing the Academic Library. It is intended as an example of the kinds of things librarians supporting a research-intensive university can do.]
Making the Most Important Decision a Faculty Makes More Informed
Tenure is a major commitment. It should be made with the best information. Each year all faculty being considered for tenure will have an assigned librarian who will provide intensive citation analysis of their works. This goes beyond simple citation counts, it incorporates the latest in new and alternative metrics to measure impact.
This service provides all involved in the tenure process with objective and in depth data to aid in this most important of decisions.
Further Talking Points
Universities talk about strengthening their reputations. Reputations must be supported by evidence of impact. A natural extension of an agenda in scholarly communication, a robust publisher of the university, and librarians embedded into research is the ability to tell a more accurate and compelling story of scholarly achievement.
By tasking librarians with a sort of case load of upcoming tenure cases, the university can directly inject real measures of impact and best practices into the tenure and promotion process. Papers on alt metrics and new forms of citation analysis inform tenure packages, and provost briefings.
There are other benefits of tying librarians into the the tenure process. A real and up to date inventory of the scholarly output of the university can be created. Librarians can learn more about the work of faculty, and find better ways to support this work. Preprint archives can migrate from a document repository to a living open access journal available to the world, and highlighting the strength of the University research to other institutions.