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Chris Tucker

At William & Mary (2/2 load) 5 papers in top 10 journals or top specialty journals is probably enough. 5 papers in 15 to 30 ranked journals probably wouldn't be with only lukewarm external referees. For fields in which publishing in general journals makes less sense, journal prestige is less apt as a criterion. But the broader point is that only 5 is pushing it. I think it would be safer to have 8 pubs, and we count pubs from grad school and previous jobs. Of course, I speak only as one member of the dept.


I wrote a evaluation letter for someone's bid for tenure at such a place. It was a good liberal arts college, with high aspirations. The candidate had about 5-6 papers in decent but not Top journals. I think their file was regarded as a border-line case ... though I wrote a very supportive letter. I emphasized the promise of the candidate. But I think 5 publications may be cutting it close.
I think these sorts of places put a lot of value on where you got your PhD. They like to load up with faculty from Ivy league schools. So if that is where you are from, the wind may be behind you.


There is so much variation here between schools of that description, and might also be significant variation between what is a "safe" case and what counts as enough in practice. When I was at a place like that (land grant, 2/3 load, no grad program), I was told that 3 pubs in "top" places (specified as top 10 journals or specialist journals like Ethics) and 3 in "second tier" places (journals ranked 10-20 or specialist journals like Journal of Moral Philosophy or Journal of Political Philosophy) would probably be a safe case. In practice, within the past 10 years folks had gotten tenure with 3 publications, none of which were in even that second tier.

For reference

At my state university w/o a grad program, 3/3 load and 9-month contracts and generally low expectations for research, the minimum expectation is 2 publications in "real" philosophy journals. 4 publications is considered a slam-dunk case on the research side.

Mike Austin

At my comprehensive state u., with a 4/4 load, 2 would be plenty.

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