Benchmarking– Cautions when using this data
In providing benchmarking data that may be used in evaluation of candidates' records by external reviewers and evaluation committees, we highlight two important caveats. First, we use journal ranking as a proxy for publication quality. However, evaluators should not consider just the number of publications and the quality of the publication outlet, but also the quality and contribution of candidates' scholarship. In some cases, higher quality contributions can offset a relatively low number of publications. Second, it would not be appropriate to focus on the mean or median publication rates as proxies for minimum publication hurdles or publication expectations because the benchmarks in this study are based only on faculty that received promotion. If publication productivity expectation were set at the mean/median of successful candidates, such a standard would imply that half the faculty actually receiving promotion did so with a record that was below expectations, which clearly would not be a valid conclusion.
We suggest that users interpret the average of the lower tercile as a reasonable approximate proxy for a minimally acceptable research record or hurdle for a given portfolio of schools. This threshold allows room for the fact that some candidates may be promoted despite relatively low research productivity (e.g., because they demonstrated exceptional potential or value in non-research areas), but it also recognizes that, by definition, the large majority of candidates promoted have research records exceeding minimum expectations. We also note that the publication productivity benchmarks we provide do not necessarily give adequate recognition to top-tier publications outside of the top accounting and top business journals. For example, an accounting information systems researcher may publish in the top computer science outlets or information technology outlets, while others may publish in top psychology or mathematics journals. These other potential top-tier publications are not given the same recognition as Through Top Business and are included in the All Other Publications category. Thus, the benchmarks we provide could understate the number of top-tier publications.