Are research/empirical articles weighted more heavily in job searches than theory/review articles?
Date: 28 Aug 2014 23:58
Number of posts: 7
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It depends on the venue and your overall record. For example, if you publish in psych review or bulletin that will probably be considered more important than many empirical papers. On the other hand, if you just published review papers with little research of your own to show that might be a cause for concern. I think that if you have a few empirical papers and then a review or a theory paper this actually can add to the overall impression as you are showing the ability to carry out research and synthesize it as well.
Personally, i would prefer a review paper. this kind of work has very limited outlet (harder to be published) and typically get cited more frequently.
Agree with Anon (above) - the journal's name recognition and impact factor are critical.
Beyond impact factor, the specific position will likely influence what the committee considers more important. For an experimental psych position or something at an R1 that emphasizes empirical research, then the empirical paper trumps all. For non-R1 institutions that tend to be pleased if faculty are merely active in scholarship, then it will matter less whether a paper is empirical or theoretical.
One final thought - in an advice column (or maybe book about faculty work) I read from a prominent psychologist that when it comes to job searches and CV strength, the empirical paper is the gold standard. I wish I could recall the source.
I agree with the first anon and DocJ. To share an anecdote, I learned from the search committee chair (after I was hired; this is at a public R1 school) that they were looking for someone with a solid track record of doing experimental research, so it helped that nearly all of my publications involved experiments.
Just adding in another vote for empirical articles. I remember in one search we had a candidate who had a first author Psych Bull but little else. He made it through the first cut and maybe into the top group prior to interview invites. But ultimately when we were getting down to the interview invites the lack of original research articles was an issue. There is no question that review papers have an important role to play in science and the ability to do a major meta-analysis is noteworthy. But often people are looking for people who are creating knowledge not compiling it.
Just write. Jesus.
I was once a candidate with not much more than a Psych Bull (maybe the same guy - ha!). Publishing good studies is important, and in many ways faster. Don't let that dissuade you from review articles. The reviews I've done are the reason people know my name at conferences. Name recognition goes a long way.