Posted on behalf of Craig Parsons (Head, Political Science).
Here is a summary of what PS has agreed to do, with a faculty vote last Thursday, on research metrics. Let me stress that I was very surprised that we were able to get to agreement—so maybe there are useful hints here for other departments that don’t have an obvious path forward at this point.
Our solution for journals/presses starts from our recently-renegotiated Course Load Adjustment policy. That system includes a “top” category of 8 journals and 14 presses that receive “bonus” points, and then gives “normal” points for all other peer-reviewed articles and books.
From there we decided that each faculty can nominate ONE more “top general” journal, to be added to those existing 8; and three journals of their choice for a “top specialty” category. There will be some overlap in their suggestions (which we know because we did a partial mock survey before this real one), so with our 20-ish faculty I’m going to bet we end up with 20-ish “top general” journals and 45-ish “top specialty.” Not the tightest list, but not ridiculous.
Then—the brilliant suggestion from my colleague Priscilla Yamin, which brought an overall deal within reach—we added an “interdisciplinary venues” category. We have a lot of people who do interdisciplinary research, and were having a lot of trouble with how to fit those options into the top general/top specialty tiers. For this third category, we decided that we would include a set of flagship journals in related areas, plus each faculty could name two other journals.
On presses, since we already began from a generous list of 14 “top” presses, we just asked everyone to name three “top specialty” presses. We specified that they must be university presses, which makes sense in political science.
For awards and grants, things were simpler—we’re mostly just shooting for a capacious list—and you can see what we did in the links below.
Of course there are another few details, but that’s the basic idea. It isn’t going to produce a beautiful hierarchical measure of quality, but no such measure would be acceptable to our department. This process sets fairly reasonable bounds on a deal to let everyone name the venues they respect the most.
NOTE: PLEASE DON’T ENTER ANYTHING IN THESE LINKS. THEY ARE FEEDING INTO OUR SURVEY. [VIEW ONLY]