Posted by: Elizabeth A. (Betty) Thomas | January 21, 2016

Using Tech to Make Tenure


Like many academicians, librarians in academic environments also go through a promotion and tenure process. Deborah Tritt of the University of South Carolina Aiken and Kaetrena Davis Kendrick of the University South Carolina Lancaster presented their Guide on the T&P Side: Using Tech to Make Tenure at the 10th annual Metrolina Library Association Conference. They shared a number of great no-cost tools that anyone could use.

As a side note, the Association of College and Research Libraries supports tenure track academic librarians. Two websites of interest: ACRL Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College & University Librarians and ACRL’s Guideline for the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure of Academic Librarians.

Rule 1: Stay Focused

These tools can help you achieve that objective. Part of the process is writing narratives. Take chunks of time to work on the project.

eggtimer Timer. is a simple countdown timer. Set the timer for a specific amount of time like 25/5 minute cycles and focus on the work for that amount of time before taking a break.


noisli  Noisli is a background noise and color generator for productivity or relaxation. There are background noises like White noise, Rain, and Coffee Shop. I am listening to birds singing and water in a babbling brook. Now it’s thundering. I am switching to the coffee shop to wake up.  Noisli also includes a distraction-free Text Editor as well as a timer.

coffivity  Coffitivity is another tool that streams the sounds of a coffee shop. The site claims research showing moderate ambient noise helps enhance creative cognition. You can even choose from different types of cafes. I am hoping the University Undertones helps me get this blog post written.

rainymood Rainy Mood is a rain simulator. You can even add their recommended mix or one from You Tube. Today’s recommendation is Rainy Mood + Beethoven. It’s very pleasant.

momentumMomentum through Chrome Web Store is a tab homepage replacement. When you open the tab, it asks you to type in your focus for the day. The photography is awesome.

Rule 2: Keep Yourself Organized

kanbanflow  Kanbanflow is a project management tool. The Kanban board provides a way to have an overview of your current work and collaborate in real-time. Kanban can also use the Pomodoro technique of working with full focus for 25 minutes before taking a short break. Then you repeat the cycle.


trello Trello is a board with lists of lists filled with cards used by a group or on your own.


milkRemember the Milk is an on-line to-do list. This tool was one of the first.


wunderlist Wunderlist is good for a grocery list and to set due dates and reminders.


Rule 3: Keep Everything

evernoteEvernote is a good tool for collecting information off the internet like a web article, handwritten notes, or photos of your projects.

googledocsGoogle Docs is a way to create and share online documents, spreadsheets and presentations.


dropboxDropbox is a secure file sharing and storage solution. Dropbox is great for collecting your work and using it on various computers.


zoteroZotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It is good for information management in that you can store articles.


Rule 4: Track Everything is a free platform for academics to share research papers and get feedback on working papers. Academia provides in depth analytics and statistics.

researchgateResearchGate is a like a social networking site for researchers to share papers and find collaborators. The site provides statistics on downloads and citations.

journoJourno Portfolio is a platform geared to journalists to capture their writing and photographs. JP also tracks how many people visit the site, how long they spent there, and where they are located.

digitalcommons Digital Commons is a hosted institutional repository that some universities and law schools use.  According to their website, DC hosts everything from faculty papers, student scholarship, and annual reports to open access journals, conference proceedings and monographs.

figshareFigshare is another open repository where research documents can be uploaded and the site makes research “citable, shareable and discoverable” while also creating a DOI.

googlescholarGoogle Scholar Citations is a way for authors to track citations of articles. Through Google Scholar Citations, a researcher can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time and compute other metrics.

Other Tools for Keeping and Tracking Scholarship Activity

preziPrezi is free presentation software that uses motion, zoom and spatial relationships to add to presentations.



screencastScreencast-O-Matic is a free screen recording platform that comes with statistics. It can also be added to


googlefusionGoogle Fusion Tables is a data visualization application to gather, visualize and share data tables. The presenters use Google Fusion Tables for reference analytics.


wordpressWordPress is an open source blogging and website content management system. It also provides analytics about who visits the site.


Most tenure and promotion processes require candidates to provide justification and evidence of the academic activities such as librarianship, teaching, scholarship and service. These free tech tools can help in sharing activities, collecting metrics, and organizing files for anyone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: