Scholarship Assessed

Standards of Scholarly Work

The seminal report from the Carnegie Endowment for the Advancement of Teaching, published in 1997, Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate, should still be on the "must-read" list of those responsible for shaping meaningful scholarly careers, including individual faculty, their departmental and administrative colleagues. The clarity and specificity of questions to be raised in the shaping of scholarly goals is of great value.

We conclude, then, that there is a common language in which to discuss the standards for scholarly work of all kinds, a language that enables us to see clearly what discovery, integration, application, and teaching share as scholarly activities. We acknowledge that these six standards— clear goals, adequate preparation, appropriate methods, significant results, effective presentation, and reflective critique— define phases of an intellectual process that are in reality not so neatly categorized. Still, we find value in analyzing the qualities that scholars admire in finished work, while conceding the playful, anarchic, and unpredictable aspects of the life of the mind. Confidence in the assessment of scholarship depends on using standards that are appropriate to the full range of scholarly work.

Summary of Standards

Clear Goals

Does the scholar state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly? Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable? Does the scholar identify important questions in the field?

Adequate Preparation

Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field? Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work? Does the scholar bring together the resources necessary to move the project forward?

Appropriate Methods

Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals? Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected? Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?

Significant Results

Does the scholar achieve the goals? Does the scholar's work add consequentially to the field? Does the scholar's work open additional areas for further exploration?

Effective Presentation

Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work? Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences? Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?

Reflective Critique

Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work? Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique? Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?

— Reprinted with permission from pages 35-36 of Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate by Charles E. Glassick, Mary Taylor Huber, and Gene I. Maeroff. An Ernest L. Boyer project of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Published by Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1997.