Biology needs a modern assessment system for professional productivity

Lucinda A. McDade*, David R. Maddison, Robert Guralnick, Heather A. Piwowar, Mary Liz Jameson, Kristofer M. Helgen, Patrick S. Herendeen, Andrew Hill, Morgan L. Vis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stimulated in large part by the advent of the Internet, research productivity in many academic disciplines has changed dramatically over the last two decades. However, the assessment system that governs professional success has not kept pace, creating a mismatch between modes of scholarly productivity and academic assessment criteria. In this article, we describe the problem and present ideas for solutions. We argue that adjusting assessment criteria to correspond to modern scholarly productivity is essential for the success of individual scientists and of our discipline as a whole. The authors and endorsers of this article commit to a number of actions that constitute steps toward ensuring that all forms of scholarly productivity are credited. The emphasis here is on systematic biology, but we are not alone in experiencing this mismatch between productivity and assessment. An additional goal in this article is to begin a conversation about the problem with colleagues in other subdisciplines of biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-625
Number of pages7
JournalBioScience
Volume61
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • academic assessment
  • curation of natural history collections
  • digital objects
  • scientific productivity
  • systematic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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