Establishing your Research Identity
When you present your tenure/promotion dossier to a university T & P Committee, it will be read by individuals who have little understanding of the your field, much less your specialty within the discipline. To make a successful case for tenure or promotion, you must present evidence of your scholarship, its influence on other scholars, and your reputation in your field. This evidence includes a list of your research publications, letters of reference from colleagues outside the university, and your annual departmental evaluations. The Chair’s letter is also an important document that can explain the significance of your scholarship to the T & P Committee.
Increasingly, faculty also present quantitative measurements as evidence of the significance of their work to their discipline. These measurements can cover the ranking of the journals in which your articles appear, the number of times other scholars have cited your publications, and the number of reviews of your work that have appeared in the core journals of your discipline. While there are conflicting opinions regarding these measurements and their significance, they are accepted as indicators of the quality of your work and your reputation in your field.
The tools used most often are discussed on this site. Some measurements such as citation analysis are applicable to all disciplines; others are discipline specific. Your departmental chair can be most helpful in determining which measurements are useful in your field.
For additional assistance, please contact your library subject specialist.