These guidelines are adapted (almost copied) from the Science Division Guidelines that were developed by a committee consisting of Jon Williams (Chair), Siobhan Fennessy, Judy Holdener, Michael Levine, Andy Niemiec, Liz Ottinger, and Tony Watson. They were approved by the Science Division in the fall semester 1999.
Components of Scholarship
Although the rate of publication will be more modest for psychologists at liberal arts colleges than it is for university researchers, the department recognizes the many benefits of publication-quality research and thus expects its members to pursue peer-reviewed publication, including print and electronic journal articles, chapters in books, entire books (including textbooks), and contributions to science literature for wider circulation (books, magazines, web encyclopedias, etc.). Given the widely varying time and resource requirements for these different types of publications, the department does not recommend a numerical minimum requirement for the number and type of publications necessary for successful appointment without limit for psychologists at Kenyon. However, the department would consider the absence of peer-reviewed publication to be problematic, both for tenure and for further promotion.
Although publication should have a special importance in faculty evaluations of scholarship, the department emphasizes that there are other forms of scholarship that are valuable and even comparable to peer-reviewed publications. One such form, currently listed second in the legislation for scholarly evaluation, is receipt of grants. Particularly common in the sciences, grant writing is a very time-consuming process requiring considerable expertise and insight into one's field. The process is usually discipline-specific, and college-wide support for grant writing is generally not available. Furthermore, given that external funding is so competitive, individual research grant proposals (e.g., proposals to such agencies as the NSF) face more stringent review process than those typically involved in journal publications. Consequently, funded research grant proposals are indications of successful research programs, and the formative experience gained from submitting even a non-funded grant proposal could be at least as beneficial as that gained from the review process of a journal publication. In light of these facts, the department views receipt of individual research grants as significant scholarly work.
Participation in science division-wide grant-writing efforts (e.g., HHMI or Fairchild proposals) is also a form of scholarship. Such efforts require time and expertise, and they often result in enhancements of equipment and other resources for scholarly research and teaching. Evaluations of scholarship should consider faculty contributions to division-wide grants, in addition to work on proposals to fund individual research programs.
Presentations, Invited Lectures, Conference Papers, Posters
Presentations, lectures, conference papers, and posters at local, national, and international meetings are valuable forms of scholarship. These activities indicate that a faculty member is engaged in an ongoing research program which is open to critique by peers in the scientific community. In the sciences, faculty often deliver reports at national meetings, describing ongoing but unfinished research. These reports, which might take the form of a poster or a talk, provide formative feedback from other scientists. The department recognizes that such presentations are indicative of progress, as well as being an important means of staying current in one's field. Moreover, there are also certain cases where an invitation to present at a conference or an institution might be especially important. In fact, there are some conferences where an invitation to attend is a significant accomplishment - a recognition by one's peers of one's contribution to the field. Such accomplishment should be carefully considered when weighing scholarly activity.
Editorships of professional journals and newsletters are worthy scholarly activities, however, not to the exclusion of pioneering work which furthers the knowledge base in one's field. Typically, editorial positions are held by those academicians who are already recognized as major contributors in their field, and the College should also recognize this achievement.
Reviews of Grants and Manuscripts
As with editorships, invitations to review grant proposals, manuscripts, and books are indicative of a level of accomplishment which the College will likely have already recognized. Nonetheless, the work involved in these reviews should be considered valuable scholarly activity.
In general, the department recognizes that individual faculty have differing strengths and resource requirements, and that the dedication to one's field manifests itself in various ways at various times in an individual's career. Certain faculty members may have numerous presentations and fewer publications. A professor could be very up-to-date in the field as a result of ongoing activities at conferences and workshops. Or a professor might have numerous publications and very few presentations. Evaluation of scholarship should consider the full virtue of the person. The whole is sometimes more than the sum of the parts.