Academic Analytics (AA) provides data for research/scholarly activity benchmarking and discovery by collecting publicly available scholarly data (including publications, citations, and external funding) on individual faculty members, combining the data by Ph.D. program, and comparing it to equivalent information from similar programs in the same disciplines at other universities. Access to this data is provided through an online dashboard that is password protected and available only to approved users. AA also enables examination of data by individual faculty member, providing a research/scholarly activity profile for each faculty member, as well as depicting their collaborative network. Because data on individual faculty members is present within the dashboard, it is essential that the policies on the use of this data carefully specify who has access to this data and for which purposes. The principles articulated below will guide the use of AA within OU to examine research/scholarly activity productivity and integrate this data with additional sources of information.
Principles of Use
- AA data should never be the sole source of evidence and must be used in the context of other reliable sources of data and evidence. Reference to AA data should be accompanied by reference to other sources of data or information.
- Access to AA data requires individual training and user agreement to follow AA identified restrictions for use, prior to being given access.
- Users are given access to the AA comparative data dependent on the answer to the following question: “does the individual have a demonstrated specific need to know?” In other words, does the individual maintain a level of authority over or interest in the unit that would enable him or her to initiate improvements within the program? For example, a Dean has a managerial right over all of the departments and programs in his or her school/college, while a department Chair has the managerial right over only the programs in his or her department. Decisions regarding individual access are made by the Provost.
- Faculty will have access to their own data and reports through the Faculty Insight tool. They may add professional information as desired, and can use the tool for purposes such as identifying relevant grant opportunities, identifying potential collaborators or external evaluators, locating relevant awards, and career planning.
- The presence of a performance metric in AA does not indicate that it is of more importance than many other types of performance indicators; additional performance indicators that are not publicly available are essential to understanding individual faculty achievement as well as unit performance
- OU is committed to working with AA to provide accurate data and improve the comprehensiveness of data included.
Constructive Uses of Academic Analytics by Academic Leaders
- Use of aggregate, program‐level data for strategic planning purposes such as:
- Identifying current and aspirational peers
- Analyzing department level strengths and weaknesses in relation to peer departments as part of divisional or departmental reviews
- Benchmarking units against peers in order to draw attention to OU excellence
- Conducting the Academic Program Review process
- Making academic planning decisions
- Locating underused extramural grants and funding areas relative to peers
- Funding at department level for strategic priorities
Academic Analytics Data Should Not Be Used to Determine
- Individual faculty evaluations
- Salary or merit increases
- Decisions over retention offers
- Promotion and tenure decisions
Please contact Vice Provost Sarah Ellis if you have any questions.