4/24- Scholarship for the Public Good: What We Value, How We Evaluate
Scholarship for the Public Good: What We Value, How We Evaluate
Monday, April 24, 2023
4:00pm – 5:00pm
“Productive.” “Important.” “Influential.” Researchers chase these descriptors, which help secure jobs, grants, tenure, promotion, and acclaim. But how are these terms defined? Who decides when these qualities have been attained? Can they be communicated through metrics, and what biases are baked into attempts to do so? Further, how does prioritizing these qualities affect, and distort, the decision-making of individual researchers, hiring committees, evaluative bodies, and administrators? And what are some of the possibilities we can turn to instead?
The second event in the “Scholarship for the Public Good” series will feature three experts on these questions, in conversation with each other:
- Bianca C. Williams (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Women’s and Gender Studies, Psychology, and Africana Studies, CUNY Graduate Center) is a former member of the Cite Black Women Collective and recently published the article “Black Feminist Citational Praxis and Disciplinary Belonging” in Cultural Anthropology.
- Nicky Agate (Assistant University Librarian for Research Data & Digital Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania) is co-PI on the HuMetricsHSS initiative, a Mellon-funded project to rethink research evaluation in the humanities and social sciences on the basis of shared values.
- Alyshia Gálvez (Professor of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center; Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, Lehman College)—whose research includes examining the colonial assumptions underlying higher education pedagogies, technologies and bureaucracies—will moderate the event.
Scholarship for the Public Good Event Series
“We believe that knowledge is a public good.” This statement of institutional values is emblazoned on the Graduate Center website. But there are many ways to interpret the statement, and many ways to enact the belief. How can we move from words to action—or to greater action—in the context of our scholarship?
- How can we ensure that the public, as a matter of course, has cost-free access to scholarly works authored by Graduate Center researchers?
- What changes could we collectively bring about if we centered our values in decisions about where we publish, peer review, and serve in editorial roles?
- How can the library and institution as a whole support these efforts and resist high-profit publishers’ exploitative practices?
- How might we reimagine “impact” and rework systems of evaluation and reward?
- How does considering these questions and contributing to these changes benefit our students, our colleagues, our fields, and the public?
Hosted by the CUNY Graduate Center’s Mina Rees Library and the Provost’s Office, the “Scholarship for the Public Good” event series will examine these questions and more, and explore possible ways that everyone in the Graduate Center community—faculty, students, staff, and administrators—can foster a positive, public-minded ecosystem of scholarship.