A Level Playing Field

MBBE/TPSS looks to altmetrics to reduce gender bias at UH

  • 10 March 2021
  • Author: Mark Berthold
  • Number of views: 2638
A Level Playing Field

Tenure and promotion is based on objectivity, correct? But what if the metrics they use are biased in favor of men?

With a growing body of evidence that bias does exist in nearly all traditional academic evaluation metrics, a new study from the Dept. of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering and Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences is testing whether modern, digital “altmetrics” can reduce those biases, especially in STEM fields.

“Our goal is for UH to become a national leader in the next-generation of equitable practices for recruitment and promotion,” says Bjarne Bartlett, MBBE grad student and lead researcher. “UH prides itself on diversity and inclusion. This study offers new knowledge that can be leveraged for more equitable hiring and promotion practices.”

Adds Michael Kantar of TPSS, “This adds to the body of literature showing that we don’t value contributions equally. Actively choosing to use metrics that do a better job would help the University of Hawaiʻi live up to its goals.”

The study, Digital technology helps remove gender bias in academia, appears in a recent issue of Scientometrics.

Read the full UH News story.

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