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PLoS Biol. 2018 Mar 29;16(3):e2004089. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2004089. eCollection 2018 Mar.

Assessing scientists for hiring, promotion, and tenure.

Author information

1
Centre for Journalology, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.
2
Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS), Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.
3
INSERM CIC-P 1414, Clinical Investigation Center, CHU Rennes, Rennes 1 University, Rennes, France.
4
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, BabeĊŸ-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
5
Executive Board, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
6
Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.
7
Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.
8
Department of Biomedical Data Science, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.
9
Department of Statistics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.

Abstract

Assessment of researchers is necessary for decisions of hiring, promotion, and tenure. A burgeoning number of scientific leaders believe the current system of faculty incentives and rewards is misaligned with the needs of society and disconnected from the evidence about the causes of the reproducibility crisis and suboptimal quality of the scientific publication record. To address this issue, particularly for the clinical and life sciences, we convened a 22-member expert panel workshop in Washington, DC, in January 2017. Twenty-two academic leaders, funders, and scientists participated in the meeting. As background for the meeting, we completed a selective literature review of 22 key documents critiquing the current incentive system. From each document, we extracted how the authors perceived the problems of assessing science and scientists, the unintended consequences of maintaining the status quo for assessing scientists, and details of their proposed solutions. The resulting table was used as a seed for participant discussion. This resulted in six principles for assessing scientists and associated research and policy implications. We hope the content of this paper will serve as a basis for establishing best practices and redesigning the current approaches to assessing scientists by the many players involved in that process.

PMID:
29596415
PMCID:
PMC5892914
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.2004089
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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