E-publish or perish

Mon, 13 Jun 1994 10:59:00 PDT

Mizrach writes:

" It would then
be possible (I am not, bearing in mind Mike Salovesh's warnings, saying
"desirable") to establish quantitative standards for hiring and promotion
decisions. A useful byproduct would be a continuously evolving map of where
fields were moving. With the right graphic representations it would point
to opportunities for new ideas where fields are starting to intersect, etc.
For the sociology of knowledge it would be a massive step forward."

The first sentence presumes that hiring and promotion currently lacks an
accurate quantitative standard and with such a standard then there would be
greater objectivityin hiring and promoting. I would disagree and this
ignores what currently drives hiring and promotion; e.g., ask how many
hirings and promotions actually make even the slightest attempt to ensure
equality of standards (whatever may be the standards) in any serious manner.
The problem isn't lack of information, quantitative measures, etc., but
from the interest in maintaining a system that can be manipulated when needed
for purposes that contradict the stated basis for hiring and promotion. We
talk about other peoples and how they manipulate, e.g., kinship systems for
individual ends; the same applies here.

As for the other sentences, Mizrach is quite right about how more information
on what publications are being done etc. would be a enormous bone for
tracking how fields are changing.

D. Read