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Researcher Services and Support: Promotion and Tenure

Thinking of publishing? This guide contains everything you need to know about the publishing lifecycle, copyright, self-archiving, and promoting your research.

Using Altmetrics on your CV

Traditionally, tenure committees have relied on bibliometric indicators, such as the h-index and journal impact factors, to measure research output of individuals and to determine hiring and promotion decisions. But quantitative metrics are only one possible way to measure impact, and they have well-documented limitations. Altmetrics, and other forms of metrics, can help researchers gauge their impact in ways that can't be determined by traditional metrics. 

  • Societal impact: Examples include citations to research in public policy documents, which can indicate effect of the research in public health and law; references in patents, and citations to research in Wikipedia.
  • Educational impact: Examples include articles and books included in syllabi, and other learning objects used to teach concepts in the classroom. 
  • Public engagement and outreach: Examples include press coverage, social media tweets and shares, downloads, and views of scholarship in citation managers like Mendeley, Academia.edu, etc. 

From Konkiel, S., Sugimoto, C., Williams, S. (2016) "The Use of Altmetrics in Promotion and Tenure"

Including the raw numbers or Altmetric score is not enough; you will need to put the numbers in context. The key is to make the numbers meaningful. 

Examples of Showcasing Metrics

It's not enough to provide raw numbers or counts; explain why they are important and provide context for your data. Always provide the source of your information, too.

The following are examples of how you might incorporate metrics into your CV: 

  • Smith, B. (2017). Article title. Journal name. doi:10.100/xxxxx
    • Citations: 12 - listed in the 98th percentile of Microbiology research published in 2017 (source: Altmetric.com)
    • Views: This paper has been viewed in 32 countries (source: Altmetric.com) and is in the top 50 papers downloaded from this journal (source: Mendeley)
  • Jones, R. (2015). Article title. Journal name. doi:10.100/xxxxxx
    • Paper covered by 30 media outlets worldwide, including the Huffington Post, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. (source: Altmetric.com)
    • Paper recommended by 10 research blogs, including that of prominent pediatrician Lisa Example, M.D., who described this research as "a groundbreaking study in the field of pediatric neurology." (source: Altmetric.com)

Real life example of a C.V. incorporating Altmetrics, from Trevor A. Branch, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. 

Resources

Guide to Preparing a Dossier for Promotion or Tenure (University of Colorado Denver Medical School) : An extensive guide that contains information on how to showcase and explain metrics on a tenure dossier. Includes examples of showcasing impact in a clinical setting. 

10 Tips for Using Altmetrics in Your CV and Grant Applications (Celia Carver)

GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure

GW Milken Institute School of Public Health Guidelines for Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure

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