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Evaluation of Scholarly Activity and Research

Scholarly activity and research is central to the mission of the University, is expected of all tenured and tenure-track faculty, and should be recognized where appropriate for other faculty. It is the responsibility of the chair, the dean and all tenure and promotion committees to evaluate the quality of the scholarly activity and research of the faculty member (a mere listing of publications or grants does not constitute evaluation).

  1. Each department should establish a clear statement of the criteria for evaluating scholarly activity and research in that department. These criteria must include items E.1-3 at a minimum and items E.4-11 where appropriate. The criteria should take into consideration both the mission of the department and the nature of the scholarly activity and research within the discipline or related disciplines and in appropriate interdisciplinary venues. In particular, the statement should document the appropriate rules of co-authorship within the discipline, including when such co-authorship constitutes a potential conflict of interest in tenure and promotion reviews. It should also refer to the applicable ethics guidelines of the appropriate professional societies. All tenured and tenure-track faculty members of the department should be given an opportunity to help develop these criteria, and the final statement must be adopted through a majority vote of all tenured faculty. The statement should undergo periodic review by the department. The statement must be approved by the dean and the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The department criteria should be attached to the evaluation by the chair that is submitted to the dean and to the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

  2. If the faculty member has received release time for research, the chair should evaluate the effectiveness with which this release time has been used.

  3. To further the University's commitment to internationalization, collaborative research with international colleagues, international grant activity, and presentations at international conferences, seminars and workshops should be recognized. For such international work, faculty should assist the chair with documenting the quality, impact, and value of their international work and in identifying and soliciting external evaluation by international peers, as appropriate.

  4. Consistent with the University's commitment to equity and inclusive excellence, faculty research that contributes to the diversity of learners and scholars at the University and enhances our environment of equity and inclusion should be noted in the review process.

  5. In evaluation, emphasis should be placed on quality, not just quantity. Within definitions 1-11 noted below, the following, where appropriate, are considered scholarly activity and research at Old Dominion University: publications, presentations at professional meetings, grants and contracts, computer software and educational media, patents submitted and awarded, instructional research, interdisciplinary research, creative and artistic productions, translational research including patents awarded, and applied projects in technical and professional fields, as well as entrepreneurship and community-engaged research. Faculty should assist the chair with documenting the quality, impact and value of these scholarly activities and soliciting external evaluation by international peers, as appropriate.
    1. Publications - The chair's evaluation should consider and comment upon the reputation and editorship of journals in which the faculty member has published, the extent of external peer review of articles, level of authorship for the faculty member, e.g. sole, first, or second author, and the level of publications, e.g. international/national, regional, state, or local. Published books are evaluated on the type and reputation of the publishing company, e.g. international/national, regional, state, local, or self-published, and the nature of the reviews received. Evaluation of the quality of the publication is essential. For major personnel decisions (e.g., tenure and promotion) external evaluation of publications is required.

    2. Presentations at professional meetings - The chair will be expected to evaluate such presentations on a similar basis to publications in learned journals - that is, taking into consideration the extent of external peer review before acceptance of the paper and the prestige associated with having a paper accepted for presentation at that meeting.

    3. Grants and contracts - The chair should consider the aggressiveness with which the faculty members have sought out research opportunities (considering the availability of opportunities in their fields), the effectiveness with which faculty members have met the requirements established by the funding agency, the effectiveness with which the faculty members have worked with colleagues and contributed to funding for graduate assistants and post-doctoral fellows, purchased released funds obtained, and the leadership that faculty members have provided on particular grants (as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, collaborator, consultant or other major participant).

    4. Computer software and educational media - Work resulting in the creation of significant computer software or digital educational materials for use by others will be evaluated by the chair based on external evaluations and reviews.

    5. Instructional research - The chair should give credit to effective instructional research by faculty members, with emphasis on well-designed and controlled research in teaching, particularly in their own or closely related disciplines, and the recognition that the instructional research has received, e.g. through publication or adoption at other institutions.

    6. Interdisciplinary research – Credit should be given for interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research, including collaboration with others outside the immediate field of expertise of the faculty member, whether internal or external to the University.

    7. In fields such as music, performing arts, and art, performance and juried/curated exhibition are counted as research activity. The chair should evaluate the quality of the artistic production, and may consider evidence such as published reviews of performance and exhibitions, stature and exclusivity of venue and juror/curators, or awards in juried exhibitions.

    8. Translational research - The chair should give credit for translational research that results in important new industrial, health services, or business applications.

    9. Entrepreneurial activities related to the faculty member's research should be considered as scholarly activity. Entrepreneurship involves systematic efforts to identify and solve problems through applied and/or field-based research resulting in innovative social, scientific, civic, economic, creative, pedagogical, technological, and/or consumer interventions and initiatives. The specific problem-solving innovation or intervention will vary by discipline and will encompass a praxis-based approach that may include a direct community or market intervention. Such activities may result in inventions, patents, new products, processes, techniques, and/or intervention strategies. Evaluation of entrepreneurial activity should ascertain the rigor of the approach and the impact on the constituencies targeted by the intervention or patent.

    10. Community-engaged research can include entrepreneurial research as well as applied projects supporting community agencies, government, industry, business, or other parties, and leading to comprehensive technical papers such as economic impact studies, reports to government agencies, white papers, articles in trade journals, etc.

    11. Other – Editorship of prestigious journals may be considered scholarly activity in certain disciplines. Book reviews, instructional manuals, and articles in national popular magazines related to the faculty member's expertise may be considered, but are not substantial scholarly publications.

- Approved by the president
June 24, 2013
Revised June 13, 2018
Revised May 1, 2020


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