Publiez, publiez, il en restera toujours quelque chose

Bienvenue dans l’envers du décor des universités américaines :

There are some universities, particularly where the American politics field is very strong—(modifié : voir en fin de note)—where people are starting to adopt semi-formal point systems of publication and citations as promotion criteria. If we ever do this, I know exactly how to play that game…You don’t have to be a genius to figure this out…I’ll just write a piece tomorrow saying that some lobby controls US foreign policy. Steve Walton and John Mearsheimer just wrote this piece…it is not a piece of academic scholarship by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve blown their careers out of the water in terms of the academic world, but they’ve also got a seven-figure book contract, if that’s what you want…But, if it becomes a citation thing, I know how to do that. So does everybody else.

Extrait du superbe rapport sur l’utilisation des citations dans la carrière des universitaires américains. Le chapitre 8 est entièrement consacré à la science politique, et c’est une mine d’informations.

Une autre citation :

I keep drawing this triangle for anyone who will listen. Here’s the assistant professor of political science today in the middle, here are the funding foundations, and here is the tenure and promotion committee, and here is the university press editor at the three points of the triangle. Okay? And this poor person, let’s just call him Joe, Joe goes to the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and says, “What do you guys want?” And these guys right now are saying, “We want demonstrable short-term impact on policy. We’re not interested in basic research. You want to get a grant from us? I want to know who in Washington, D.C. is reading your work.” Okay. Then Joe goes to the university press editor…who says, “I want a book that will sell. If the book will sell, then I will ask if it has scholarly merit. If the book won’t sell, I’m not even interested.” And finally, Joe goes to the tenure and promotion committee. They say, “Where is the peer-reviewed scholarly merit, individual path-breaking contribution?” And Joe is pulled in three different directions at once, and I don’t know how he survives, frankly.

Ah, et les blogs comptent apparemment pour du beurre au niveau du recrutement, mais pas le reste de ce qui se retrouve en ligne, comme les datasets.

Mise à jour : les auteurs du rapport nous ont écrit pour nous signifier que les deux universités précédemment citées dans le passage édité ci-dessus ne mettraient pas en œuvre de point system. Le rapport a été modifié en conséquence, et cette note également.

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