8.2 Evaluating academics for specific functions

Publish or Perish can be used to provide a quick evaluation tool to assess a specific set of academics for a large variety of functions. I would certainly not advocate it to be used as the only evaluation mechanism. However, it can be very useful as a first port of call, because it often allows one to quickly reduce ones options to a smaller group to assess in more detail.

There is a large variety of possible functions one could think of: reviewers for journals or conferences, examiners for Master of PhD theses, key note speakers, discussants or session chairs for conferences, academic mentors, referees, etc. In this section, I will discuss selection as an editorial board member, but the mechanisms involved are very similar for most of these functions. In addition, I will discuss evaluation “from the other side”, i.e. prospective PhD or Masters students looking for a supervisor.