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Performance Metrics

CAUT Policy Statement

Performance metrics include, but are not limited to, the application of quantitative analysis and statistics to publications such as books, journal articles, and conference proceedings to assess the impact and quality of scholarship, research and creative works, including factors such as number and size of research grants or funding, citation counts, and ranking in journal publications. Performance metrics are subjective and often misleading.

Academic work is best assessed through peer review and not by performance metrics. Reliance on performance metrics can violate academic freedom, interfere with collegial governance, hiring, tenure and promotion decisions, compensation, working conditions, and disciplinary actions.

Measuring research output with an exclusive or excessive emphasis on performance metrics neglects the diversity and totality of scholarly activity.

Performance metrics can especially disadvantage Aboriginal scholars, members of equity-seeking groups, those publishing or disseminating knowledge in languages other than English, those who are on non-traditional career paths, as well as those who conduct unconventional research and/or use non-traditional research methods

When performance metrics are provided by the academic staff member, such metrics should be subordinate to the peer review process in accordance with principles of academic freedom and collegial governance.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2018.