Assessing Scholarly Impact
Instructor: Melissa Seelye
Dates: August 3rd through 30th, 2020
Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs
Discussions surrounding the assessment of scholarly impact are often fraught, and this is particularly so when they are situated within the context of the increasing push to quantify outputs in higher education. As such, this course will begin with a critical discussion of how and why scholarly impact metrics have come to the fore. In addition to acknowledging the disciplinary variations in understandings of impact, we will pair this discussion with an overview of the enduring role of prestige in the tenure and promotion process. We will then study specific scholarly impact metrics, with a particular focus on those applied to journals, authors, and articles. At each level, there are a variety of potential metrics to be considered, and we will explore both traditional metrics such as the journal impact factor and alternative metrics including social media mentions. Our analysis of the various metrics will include an assessment of what such metrics can and cannot tell us as well as how they may shape the future directions of scholarly publishing.
Students who complete this course will be able to:
- Understand the broader trends that have given rise to scholarly impact metrics;
- Articulate the pros and cons of various scholarly impact metrics to faculty, researchers, and other campus stakeholders;
- Provide scholarly impact guidance to library-supported journals; and
- Contribute to campus conversations regarding scholarly impact assessment and the tenure and promotion process.
This course can be taken as one of six courses needed to earn our Certificate in Scholarly Communication, but can be taken as a stand-alone course as well.
Melissa Seelye is the Scholarly Communication Librarian at San Francisco State University, and in that role she coordinates a range of scholarly communication initiatives in support of the university’s social justice mission. She is advocating for a shift towards open knowledge practices on campus, encompassing self-archiving faculty publications, library support for student and faculty journals, and expanding the use of open educational resources. Her current research explores the political economy of scholarly communication. Melissa received her MLIS from Western University, where she teaches a distance Scholarly Communication and Open Access Publishing course aligned with the MLIS student-run journal Emerging Library & Information Perspectives. Previously, she was the Scholarly Publishing & Systems Librarian at the University of Michigan Law Library.
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
You can register in this course through the first week of instruction (as long as enrollment is not full). The "Register" button above goes to our credit card payment gateway, which may be used with personal or institutional credit cards. (Be sure to use the appropriate billing address). If you want to pay with Paypal, or if your institution wants us to send a billing statement or wants to send us a purchase order, please contact us by email to make arrangements.