Research

The Department puts the highest value on research in evaluating candidates.  This policy is consistent with our belief that a University must be a place that generates knowledge, rather than merely a place that disseminates a product.  We believe that active involvement in research enhances the quality of information presented in the teaching context.  In addition, research provides a valuable contribution to public needs and promotes the visibility of Kent State University.  No Faculty member in Psychological Sciences should expect to be tenured or promoted if he/she is seriously deficient in the broad area of research.  All candidates are expected to publish empirical research in refereed journals.  Integrative review papers that appear in journals such as Psychological Bulletin and the American Psychologist are also highly valued.  The Department has long recognized the importance of applied research and, at least in psychology, the best applied research is theoretically driven and can be published in appropriate refereed journals. 

In evaluating the credentials of a candidate in the area of research, the Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee considers the following factors (see Table V.1):

  1. Publications

    The quality, quantity, and rate of publication of peer-reviewed journal articles, including empirical articles and theoretical and review articles, are important considerations in arriving at a decision to tenure and/or promote.  It is the Department’s expectation that the candidate’s scholarly record will include a significant body of empirical research.  Although quantity can be evaluated rather simply, the judgment of quality is more complex and involves a number of factors.  Only work accomplished since the Faculty member was appointed to the faculty at Kent State University is counted, unless explicit credit is given for previous academic or research experience.  Only publications or “in press” material are counted; items that are under review or in preparation are considered but given very little weight. 

    In general, the highest value is given to empirical articles in referred journals.  An integrated series of studies in a single article is more valued than piece-meal publication of single empirical studies.  Theoretical and review papers in peer-reviewed, prestigious journals are highly valued but candidates for tenure should also have articles reporting empirical research. Obviously, publications in journals having stringent reviewing policies are more valued than publications in journals that are less rigorous in their editorial control.  The contribution made by publishing a book is judged, in general, on the level of the book.  For example, professional books that make original contributions are considered more valuable than undergraduate textbooks.  Convention papers are encouraged, but because of their relatively narrow range of dissemination and sometimes superficial reviewing policies, they represent a more nominal level of research accomplishment.  Unpublished research reports or technical reports that are distributed locally or informally are not considered to be "publications."  In evaluating research activity, degree of contribution, not just authorship, will be considered.  Candidates need to specify the degree and nature of their contribution to co-authored publications.  For research activity that was begun before but finished after his/her appointment at Kent State, the amount of work completed since appointment also should be specified.  Since it is difficult to specify typical criteria for tenure and promotion, consultation with senior colleagues may be helpful.

  2. Research-related grants

    The ability of a researcher to support his/her own research program with external funding is a factor that reflects favorably on a candidate's research credentials.  Candidates who have grants that are not funded but have a positive evaluation from competent peer judgment can present that evaluation as a credential that works in favor of tenure and promotion.  Evidence of sustained attempts to obtain research grants is essential for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor and for promotion to Professor.  Obtaining external funding to support a Faculty member's research adds considerably to the case for tenure and promotion, particularly for promotion to Professor.  A very significant factor in assessing research accomplishment of Kent campus Faculty is a consistent pattern  of submitting grant proposals and even more significance is associated with essentially continuous external support.

  3. Professional activity

    Faculty members in Psychological Sciences are expected to be active participants in the profession of psychology.  Some evidence of outside professional activity is necessary for tenure and/or promotion.  Examples of such activity would be reviewing for journals, attending professional meetings regularly, holding office in a professional organization, serving on professional committees, etc.

  4. Reputation

    A person's scholarly reputation is a reflection of the quality, extent, and creativity of his/her research output and is, therefore, an issue that is carefully evaluated.    To receive a positive recommendation for tenure and/or promotion, a candidate must provide evidence that his/her work has provided an impact on the discipline of psychology.  Although international eminence is not required for tenure and/or promotion, it is true that a measure of scholarly reputation is needed.  Indeed, a particularly outstanding reputation in research can serve as an overwhelming mandate for tenure and/or promotion.  Reputation is typically evaluated by letters from investigators in the candidate's area of expertise, number of citations of his/her research, invited colloquia, book chapters, and special honors of any type, including editorships of journals.