Scholarship

In evaluating scholarship activities, the Department takes into account factors such as the breadth and depth of the candidate’s knowledge and scholarship in the field; evidence of high-quality research activity; the significance of the candidate’s research to extending knowledge in the field; and the clarity of the candidate’s research project.  
    
The Department recognizes that activities will vary considerably among individuals and that the quality and merit of these activities should thus be assessed within each candidate’s unique scholarly context, including area(s) of specialization, methodologies employed, and the extent to which the candidate’s work interfaces with other disciplines and with fields outside academe.  In particular, the Department recognizes that some faculty publish in a variety of modes, including single and multiple author books, edited books, book chapters, journal articles, and reviews; others focus upon a single mode, such as journal articles. A publication in a language other than English will be regarded as comparable to a similar English language publication. Furthermore, the ability to publish works in a language which is not native to the speaker provides additional evidence of the candidate's scholarship. 

Members of the Ad Hoc RTP committee also take into account the specializations and concentrations specified in each faculty member’s letter of offer, if applicable.

  1. Books

    In philosophy, a book is not equal to a fixed number of articles, and a book of a certain number of pages should not be equated to the same number of pages published in a series of articles.

    There are no fixed criteria for assessing the quality of a book or a publisher in the discipline of philosophy. However, not all publishers are equal.  The characteristics of a quality press for the publications of books in philosophy include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • established university academic press, established non-university academic press, or press which serves as the publishing arm of an established academic society
    • external, blind review of the work by established senior scholars in the appropriate specialization, including the possibility of a second level of review by scholars of a similar stature if the book is being considered for inclusion in a series
    • a lengthy and rigorous review period in which the author responds to requests for revision from the reviewers

    Conversely, the following are some indicators that a press is not a quality venue for publishing in the field of philosophy:

    • the publisher conducts most of its reviewing in-house
    • the review process is brief and/or cursory, and/or the author is not required to address requests for revision from the reviewers
    • the press’ contributions to academic scholarship are uneven or questionable

    Works self-published by the author, or which the author pays a press to publish, are not considered evidence of scholarship.

  2. Journal Articles

    The following criteria apply to both traditional and purely electronic journals.

    It is understood that there is no generally accepted ranking of philosophical journals across the discipline. In subfields where official rankings of journals do exist, however, those rankings should be considered authoritative for journals within that subfield. Even in subfields where no formal rankings exist, however, not all journals are equal.  The characteristics of a quality philosophical journal, regardless of subfield, include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • a high number of annual submissions
    • a low acceptance rate
    • a high impact factor, in subfields where such measures exist (it is understood that, particularly in smaller subfields, even the most influential journals will not have a significant impact factor)
    • an editorial board composed of established senior scholars in the relevant specialization(s)
    • reviewers with expertise in the relevant specialization(s)
    • a rigorous and lengthy review process 
    • affiliation with a learned academic society 

    While journals that engage in blind review of submissions are generally preferred, it is understood that some top journals in some subfields publish only invited articles. In addition, journals committed to blind review may also publish special editions featuring invited submissions, or a combination of invited and blind-reviewed submissions. 

    Given that the typical length of journal articles varies significantly by philosophical subfield, it is inappropriate to simply count pages as a measure of a scholar’s output. 

  3. Book Chapters

    Publishing chapters in edited anthologies is a common form of scholarly activity in some subfields of the discipline of philosophy. In the case of scholarly book chapters, the quality of the publisher of the anthology will be evaluated based on the criteria in (a) above.  The language regarding the relative value of invited versus blind-reviewed journal articles in (b) above applies to book chapters as well. That a previously published essay is selected for inclusion as a book chapter or anthology is often an indication of its overall quality and lasting significance. 

  4. Scholarly Translations

    Scholarly translations are crucial to making important research available to a wider audience, both within and outside the academic world. They require a deep understanding of the work in its disciplinary and cultural context. Book translations published by quality academic presses typically undergo the same blind review process as the original manuscript. Because of their importance, translations of previously published philosophical essays and book chapters should be accorded roughly equal weight as a publication in a journal of that quality would be given. A book translation, while generally not equivalent to a single-authored book, should still be regarded as a major accomplishment. 

  5. Scholarly Presentations

    For many, but not all, faculty members in philosophy, a record of invited and/or refereed presentations at academic conferences, symposia, and workshops, and/or lectures at academic institutions, is an important component of their scholarly record.  However, such presentations should be supplemented by an ongoing program of scholarly publication.

    The characteristics of a quality academic conference, workshop, or symposium include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • a high number of submissions
    • a low acceptance rate
    • a blind review process 
    • prominent invited and/or keynote speakers, if applicable
    • affiliation with an established academic society

    The geographical location of a conference should not be taken into account when determining the quality of the conference, or whether the conference is local, regional, national, or international in scope.  For example, a conference held in NE Ohio in which scholars from several countries are participating is an international conference, not a local one.

    In the case of presentations which are not subject to blind review, it is important to distinguish between invited presentations which are based on a scholar’s record and scholarly reputation, and which are thus indicators of the scholar’s impact, and venues at which all submissions are simply accepted without review.

  6. Other Scholarly Accomplishments

    In addition to the categories discussed above, scholarship in the discipline of philosophy can take on the following forms.  While valuable as evidence of scholarly achievement, none of the below are necessary for a successful reappointment, tenure, or promotion application.

    • election to office in scholarly organizations and societies
    • editorial board membership on journals
    • editorship of journals or of special editions of journals
    • requests to serve as an external reviewer for tenure or promotion files
    • request to serve as an external reader for theses and dissertations, either at KSU or elsewhere
    • invitations to serve as an organizer, steering committee member, or reviewer for academic conferences  
    • acknowledgment as a specialist by federal, state, or private institutions outside academe in fields related to the faculty member’s research, by, for example, invitations to serve as a leader or member of a panel, to conduct site visits, or to serve as a consultant for the institution
    • grants (while external grants generally represent a  more significant scholarly achievement, even internal grants can be competitive; given the difficult and time-consuming nature of grant applications, some credit should be given even for grant applications which are not funded) 
    • fellowships (the language above concerning grants is also applicable to fellowships
    • academic awards (other than grants and fellowships)
  7. Evidence of Impact

    Once a scholarly work has been published, indicators of its influence may include, but are not limited to, the following. It is understood that, in many cases, it can take time for a scholar’s work to achieve such influence.

    • citations and discussions by other scholars
    • indexing in research databases, including those focusing on disciplines other than philosophy, if applicable
    • reviews in scholarly journals (while reviews in more prominent venues carry more weight, all reviews should be considered signs of a work’s influence)
    • translations into foreign languages
    • reprints and subsequent editions
    • awards 
    • invitations the author receives to give lectures and presentations at universities and scholarly gatherings
    • invitations the author receives to contribute to, or to serve on the editorial board of, scholarly journals
    • requests the author receives to review submissions for academic presses, journals, and conferences