One of the key components of workplace advancement at the university level are the review, promotion and tenure (RPT) packets that are typically submitted every other year by early career faculty. These guidelines and forms are considered to be of highest importance for all faculty, especially for early career faculty who need to demonstrate the value and impact of their work to the university and the broader scientific community. Quite often impact is equated with “impact factor,” leading many researchers to target a narrow range of journals at the expense of a broader societal considerations (such as the public’s right to access). The importance of RPT guidelines and forms makes them a natural place to effect change towards an opening of access to research (something both Canada and the US have been pushing for through federal policies and laws).

While we believe changes in RPT guidelines and forms may provide the impetus for behavioral change, leading to broader interest and adoption of open access principles, the reality is that very little is known about current RPT practices as they relate to questions of openness. This project seeks to examine the RPT process in the US and Canada in ways that can directly inform actions likely to translate into behavioural change and to a greater opening of research.

You can see our progress in data collection here.