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Recognition and reward in the academy: Valuing publication oeuvres in biomedicine, economics and history
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1504-8395
2017 (English)In: Aslib Journal of Information Management, ISSN 2050-3806, E-ISSN 2050-3814, Vol. 69, no 5, p. 607-623Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The publication oeuvre of a researcher carries great value when academic careers are assessed, and being recognised as a successful candidate is usually equated with being a productive author. Yet, howpublications are valued in the context of evaluating careers is so far an understudied topic. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach – Through a content analysis of assessment reports in three disciplines – biomedicine, economics and history – this paper analyses how externalities are used to evaluate publication oeuvres. Externalities are defined as features such as reviews and bibliometric indicators, which can be assessed without evaluating the epistemological claims made in the actual text.

Findings – All three fields emphasise similar aspects when assessing: authorship, publication prestige, temporality of research, reputation within the field and boundary keeping. Yet, how these facets of quality are evaluated, and the means through which they are assessed differs between disciplines. Moreover, research fields orient themselves according to different temporal horizons, i.e. history looks to the past and economics to the future when research is evaluated.

Research limitations/implications – The complexities involved in the process of evaluating candidates are also reflected in the findings, and while the comparative approach taken effectively highlights domain specific differences it may also hide counter-narratives, and subtle intradisciplinary discussion on quality.

Originality/value – This study offers a novel perspective on how publications are valued when assessing academic careers. Especially striking is how research across different fields is evaluated through different time horizons. This finding is significant in the debate on more overarching and formal systems of evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 69, no 5, p. 607-623
Keyword [en]
Research quality, Research evaluation, Content analysis, Peer review, Reward system of science, Academic careers
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-12940DOI: 10.1108/AJIM-01-2017-0006ISI: 000413875800010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85032343275OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-12940DiVA, id: diva2:1153057
Projects
Swedish Research Council (Grant No. 2013-7368)The Swedish Foundation for the Social Sciences and Humanities (Grant No. SGO14-1153:1)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-7368Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, SGO14-1153:1
Available from: 2017-10-27 Created: 2017-10-27 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Hammarfelt, Björn

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