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Journal Article

Biology Needs a Modern Assessment System for Professional Productivity

Lucinda A. McDade, David R. Maddison, Robert Guralnick, Heather A. Piwowar, Mary Liz Jameson, Kristofer M. Helgen, Patrick S. Herendeen, Andrew Hill and Morgan L. Vis
BioScience
Vol. 61, No. 8 (August 2011), pp. 619-625
DOI: 10.1525/bio.2011.61.8.8
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/bio.2011.61.8.8
Page Count: 7
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Biology Needs a Modern Assessment System for Professional Productivity
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Abstract

Stimulated in large part by the advent of the Internet, research productivity in many academic disciplines has changed dramatically over the last two decades. However, the assessment system that governs professional success has not kept pace, creating a mismatch between modes of scholarly productivity and academic assessment criteria. In this article, we describe the problem and present ideas for solutions. We argue that adjusting ­assessment criteria to correspond to modern scholarly productivity is essential for the success of individual scientists and of our discipline as a whole. The authors and endorsers of this article commit to a number of actions that constitute steps toward ensuring that all forms of scholarly productivity are credited. The emphasis here is on systematic biology, but we are not alone in experiencing this mismatch between productivity and assessment. An additional goal in this article is to begin a conversation about the problem with colleagues in other subdisciplines of biology.

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