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Tenure and Promotion in the Age of Online Social Media

Anatoliy Gruzd, Kathleen Staves and Amanda Wilk

ASIST 2011 Annual Meeting 
New Orleans, LA, October 9-12, 2011


Online social media tools are fast becoming an important and integral part of the academic life. However, there is very little hard data on why and how scholars are using them. This paper presents the results of our ongoing study on how academics are using these new tools for communication and information dissemination. We specifically look at how scholars themselves view the role that online social media should play in the tenure and promotion process at academic and research institutions. The results of our study find that the use of online social media is currently not widely recognized by most research institutions as part of their tenure and promotion review process. However, according to our interview data, this will likely change in the future as more and more scholars turn to these new tools to aid them in their professional endeavors. The trending changes found in this study are important not only for the future of scholarly knowledge and information dissemination, but also for the changes it will bring to university's tenure and promotion policies and to publishers of scholarly works.

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