Departmental Standards for Interpreting Scholarship, Creative, and Professional Work for Tenure and Promotion

(Communication Disorders, Health Communication, Math, Psychology, and Science)

Note: The standards below were used prior to December 2017. To see current standards, go to the "December 2017 to Current" page.

The Emerson College Faculty Handbook outlines standards for assessing scholarly, creative, and/or professional work that include (but are not limited to) the expectation that the work “effectively original and/or innovative...demonstrates breadth and externally validated through evidence of a juried or critical review process...and, is recognized in or makes a significant contribution to the discipline (7.2.1). The Handbook requests that each academic department “define expectations for [scholarly, creative and or professional] accomplishments appropriate to the discipline or disciplines of the Department.” (7.2.2).

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders proposes the following guidelines for evaluating the scholarly, creative, and/or professional record of faculty seeking tenure and/or promotion.

Assistant to Associate Professor

Excellence in scholarship can be interpreted as the candidate clearly delineating and following a focused program of research.

To be promoted to the level of Associate Professor, a candidate is expected to demonstrate independent intellectual and scholarly development in addition to their dissertation data and publication(s). The candidate’s scholarly agenda should demonstrate a systematic program of work with a reasoned rationale and an evident trajectory. Scholarly impact should entail national presence rather than regional focus.

Scholarship can be demonstrated by varied types of evidence as outlined below.

Scholarly Publications Consisting of Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Scholarly publications consisting of peer-reviewed journal articles in recognized academic or professional journals remain the most important standard for scholarly achievement in our fields. Tenure seeking faculty are expected to produce approximately 1 peer-reviewed journal article per year for every year on the tenure clock after arriving at Emerson.

Both single-authored and collaborative articles are acceptable publication forms. In the latter case, candidates should clearly delineate their contribution to the scholarship, as it relates to leadership or collaborative role in the program of study and resulting publications. The candidates should also address their choices of publication outlets. Other items that the candidate might consider addressing include (but are not limited to):

  • Acceptance rate or other pertinent statistics for particular journals
  • Other indications of the level and impact of scholarship such as a citation index

Success in Securing External Funding

Success in securing external funding through foundations and notable agencies like the National Institutes of Health will be considered analogous to a peer-reviewed publication. Proposal bids that were not funded also can add value to the candidate's record, especially if accompanied by persuasive evidence of favorable peer reviews; however, unfunded proposal bids are not analogous with peer-reviewed articles.

Other Publications

Other publications that are outgrowths of the faculty member’s scholarship are also valued, including books and book chapters in edited volumes. Their value depends on many factors, such as the content, quality, publisher, the candidate’s contribution to the publication, prestige of contributors, impact on the field, reviews received and other variables.

Scholarly Activities (other than publications)

Scholarly activities other than publications may support a candidate’s record of scholarship although they do not substitute for publications. For instance, invitations to serve as an editor or reviewer often derive from scholarly achievements and recognition. Supportive scholarly activities include:

  • Demonstrating innovation in the field (e.g., wide adoption of methodologies developed by the candidate)
  • Editing of journals and books
  • Obtaining internal funding
  • Unfunded grant proposals
  • Participating in relevant and appropriate review boards and committees (e.g., conference program committees)
  • Conference presentations
  • Providing grant reviews for funding agencies
  • Providing manuscript reviews for scholarly journals
  • Receiving academic honors and awards
  • Speaking invitations

External Letters

External letters attesting to the quality and level of impact of the scholarship will be solicited by the College. Promotion to Associate Professor requires positive letters from more senior (typically tenured) reviewers in the field who have no personal or scholarly relationship with the candidate. Scholarly relationship is defined as having collaborated in a significant way by coauthoring either a manuscript or a proposal for external funding.

Associate to Full Professor

All of the content above remains relevant and helpful in evaluating a scholar’s accomplishments that would warrant promotion to the level of Full Professor. In addition to continued productivity using those items above, senior academics are expected to maintain a national/international reputation. This should be demonstrated by publications and activities as described above that attest to the scholar’s leadership in the field. Concrete evidence of this could be gleaned from such activities as journal editorship, service on boards of academic organizations, grant review panels, funding applications and awards, and other ways of demonstrating of stature and/or innovation in the field.

As with promotion to Associate, Promotion to Full requires that the College solicit letters from more senior external reviewers in the field, who have no personal or scholarly relationship (as defined above) with the candidate, attesting to the excellent quality and level of impact of the scholarship