Standards for the Evaluation of Scholarship | Department of Geography Handbook | Kent State University

Standards for the Evaluation of Scholarship

Scholarship is an essential and critical component of University activity. The originality, quality, impact and value of the work must be assessed. To assist with the promotion process, the candidate shall submit the names of at least five (5) experts in his/her field who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work. Moreover, the candidate must provide the Ad Hoc RTP Committee with ample descriptive evidence of his/her scholarly activity. A faculty member's specific area of specialization may be a factor in the particular journals he/she publishes in and the time required for research and the resulting publications.

In addition to scholarly publications, other scholarly activities including but not limited to presenting at professional meetings, chairing society committees, and presenting papers before learned societies should be considered. These later activities complement scholarly publications and any funded research (as needed by the scholar). Faculty members are expected to hold membership in professional societies, attend and participate in institutes and seminars, organize institutes, seminars, and workshops, insofar as such activities enhance their professional competency.

All faculty of the department are expected to seek excellence in scholarly activity.  Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of scholarly activity is based are provided as lists at the end of this section. In cases where the candidate is one of multiple participants in a particular scholarly activity (e.g. multiple-authored paper, multiple-investigator grant), he/she is expected to designate his/her role as part of the overall assessment.

Indicators of the quality of a faculty member’s research record include the quality and quantity of published work. All faculty members in the Department are expected to produce records of scholarship that reflect their disciplinary focus and the attributes of an individual faculty member’s scholarly activity will vary across disciplines.

Within this context, during annual reappointment reviews, each regional campus faculty member who will seek tenure or promotion is obligated to provide evidence supporting his/her scholarly record. This obligation will be met by providing specific information about activities in each of the following four categories: Publications, Grants (if applicable but not required for Regional Campus Faculty Members), Professional Activity, and Reputation. In turn, the members of the Department’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee and the Chair shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the Department’s expectations for a successful tenure decision. The totality of a candidate’s scholarship will be evaluated via the expectations in each of the categories listed below.  Examples for each category are provided for additional guidance.

Publications:

  • Evidence of a sustained and well-defined research agenda resulting in a clear record of publications; these include outlets such as journals of recognized quality and appropriate focus, as well as books and book chapters in reputable (e.g., university) presses. 

Professional Activity:

  • Evidence of activity includes but is not limited to presenting at meetings including geography and sub-discipline specific meetings, writing book reviews, and participation in programs aimed at professional/pedagogical development and disseminating research results.

Reputation:

  • Positive and supportive external letters that show evidence of an emerging national reputation.
  • Other examples may include editorship or guest editorship of journals, invitations to review manuscripts and grant proposals, invitations to speak at meetings, citations, awards or other meritorious recognition from scientific societies.

Grants

  • Regional Campus faculty members are generally not required to receive grants, unless otherwise specified (e.g., in their Letter of Offer).  If they do, that activity should be included in evaluations of research and scholarship.

Alternatively, examples of insufficient activity in these categories include, but are not limited to, sporadic publications, especially in low-quality journals, minimal engagement in the profession, or weak external letters.