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Higher Ed in the News

Tenure-o-meter

December 15, 2009

Filippo Menczer, associate professor of computer of informatics and computer science at Indiana University is co-creator of the Tenurometer, a tool (still in beta phase) designed to measure scholars' impact on their fields by counting how much they have contributed to the literature and how frequently those articles have been cited.

The Tenurometer, a project by Menczer and Diep Thi Hoang, a graduate student at Indiana’s School for Computing and Informatics, is a new program tool that adds an additional measure, called the “universal h-index.”

As research becomes increasingly cross-disciplinary, it is not uncommon for a department to be considering candidates for jobs, promotions, and tenure appointments who come from different disciplinary backgrounds or whose influence is evident in other disciplines.

The universal h-index, however, controls for differences in the publishing traditions of each field, as well as the amount of research each scholar has had to compete with in order to make an “impact,” Menczer says.

As professors or others query the Google Scholar database through the Tenurometer interface, the tool records their activities, producing metadata that could allow observers to "begin to see the dynamics of the emergent collaborations across fields."

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