Daily Archives: April 15, 2011

How Do We Evaluate Collaboration in Librarian Scholarship?

Librarianship is a collaborative field. We’re always trying to collaborate with someone–teaching faculty, IT people, students, even (gasp!) other librarians. In terms of librarian scholarship, co-authored and multi-authored works are common if not the norm.

When it’s time to evaluate multi-authored works for reappointment, tenure and promotion, how do we estimate contribution and assign credit? Does a co-authored work “count” as half of a sole authored work? Is someone who has a lot of multi-authored works “padding” their CV, or are they master collaborators? When writers collaborate, are they merely dividing the labor, or has some synergy occurred and have they produced something that neither could have produced on their own? Do we need to be doing more to promote and reward effective librarian collaboration in scholarship?