We love the idea of Digital Tenure. Writing for electronic publishing should, and must, be considered in matters of awarding faculty tenure at traditional universities.
Data is becoming a first-class object.
In the days of completely paper publication, the article or book was
the end of the line. And once the book was in libraries, the data were
often thrown away or allowed to deteriorate.
in a massive shift. Data become resources. They are no longer just a
byproduct of research. And that changes the nature of publishing, how
we think about what we do, and how we educate our graduate students.
The accumulation of that data should be considered a scholarly act as
well as the publication that comes out of it.
an assistant professor who has five years of field data. If she could
combine that with five years of data on children from a researcher in
another country, or another ethnic group or DNA strain, think of how
much more powerful their work could be. We can bring these together and
make comparisons on a large scale — these are things we couldn’t do
We understand merely collecting data may not
be enough to justify a tenure slot, but that important process should
not be discounted if there is rational analysis to back up the
We cannot separate data collection
from scholarship and to even attempt to do so negates the very reason
for awarding tenure in the first place.