January 16, 2022

Preprint: “How Faculty Define Quality, Prestige, and Impact in Research”

The preprint article linked below was recently shared on birXiv.


How Faculty Define Quality, Prestige, and Impact in Research


Esteban Morales
University of British Columbia

Erin McKiernan
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Meredith T. Niles
University of Vermont

Lesley Schimanski
Simon Fraser University

Juan Pablo Alperin
Simon Fraser University


via bioRxiv


Despite the calls for change, there is significant consensus that when it comes to evaluating publications, review, promotion, and tenure processes should aim to reward research that is of high “quality,” has an “impact,” and is published in “prestigious” journals. Nevertheless, such terms are highly subjective and present challenges to ascertain precisely what such research looks like. Accordingly, this article responds to the question: how do faculty from universities in the United States and Canada define the terms quality, prestige, and impact? We address this question by surveying 338 faculty members from 55 different institutions. This study’s findings highlight that, despite their highly varied definitions, faculty often describe these terms in overlapping ways. Additionally, results shown that marked variance in definitions across faculty does not correspond to demographic characteristics. This study’s results highlight the need to more clearly implement evaluation regimes that do not rely on ill-defined concepts.

Direct to Full Text Article
24 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.