Saturday, August 06, 2005

Academic branding, or at least self-promotion

In a Chronicle first-person column, Michael J. Bugeja suggests that academics need to start using the internet to brand themselves and their work. Although he states that he's "not a fan of academic branding," he offers the following observation
Take a look at your department's or school's promotion and tenure guidelines. Chances are, as in my school, promotion to associate professor requires that the candidate be "a significant contributor to the field or profession, with the potential for national distinction." According to our rules, promotion to professor requires that candidates "be recognized by his/her professional peers within the university, as well as nationally and/or internationally, for the quality of the contribution to his/her discipline."
The question is, how do you document "the potential for national distinction" or the "quality" of your contributions to the discipline nationally and internationally? Web sites showcasing scholarship can help do that.

Rather than arguing for outright academic branding, Bugeja offers both reasons for creating book and research related Web sites and some practical advice on what such sites might include. While such efforts might work to brand either you or your research, he notes, such sites are "really an online promotion and tenure file that serves colleagues and attracts potential external reviewers."

Bugeja's own site, which supports his book Interpersonal Divide: The Search for Community in a Technological Age is an excellent example of just what he's suggesting academics need to start doing. I'd also suggest that John Miles Foley's The Pathways Project as an example of a work-in-progress site. In the early stages, the Pathways Project mainly consists of the blog Oral Tradition and the Internet.

Read the column at


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At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Michael Bugeja said...

Thanks for the mention of my article and the accurate depiction of the arguments in the essay.


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