UNC Charlotte Academic Policy: Access and Use of Academic Analytics Data

I. Executive Summary

This policy outlines the acceptable use of Academic Analytics data at UNC Charlotte. Academic Analytics data will be utilized by the UNC Charlotte community to further explore constructive uses of faculty research activity; as well as, ensure that Academic Analytics data will be used in ways that are transparent and open to institutional advancement and excellence.

II. Policy Statement

Academic Analytics allows approved UNC Charlotte faculty and administrators to view faculty data that is generated independently through a compilation of information in four areas: (1) scholarly publications (books and journal articles), (2) citations to published journal articles, (3) honorific awards, and (4) research funding by federal agencies. Because Academic Analytics includes data on individual faculty members, the following subsections will outline policies and procedures on who has access to which data and for what purposes.

Data Access
This subsection addresses the intended user access to Academic Analytics data at UNC Charlotte. Access will be limited to the scope needed for the responsibilities of the user’s position. Any employee of UNC Charlotte who has been granted access to specific data will have permission to view those data only. Metrics regarding individual faculty members should not be shared with others, except for the faculty member.

Acceptable access to metrics and comparative data about persons other than oneself (i.e., Academic Analytics portal) will be available to:

  • Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and designated administrator(s); Vice Chancellor for Research and designated administrator(s); and College Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, Department Chairs, and designated administrator(s).

Acceptable access to metrics and comparative data about oneself (i.e., Faculty Insight portal) will be available to:

  • Full-time, 9-month or greater, tenured and tenure-track faculty
  • Full-time, non-tenure track faculty

Data Use

Acceptable use of aggregate, program‐level data for strategic planning purposes consistent with:

  • Analysis of department-level strengths and weaknesses regarding peer departments as part of divisional or department reviews
  • Benchmarking units against peers to draw attention to UNC Charlotte’s excellence when advertising the department and recruiting faculty and graduate students
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses of programs or departments in extramural grants and funding areas relative to peer programs or departments
  • Identification of peer and aspirational peer institutions
  • Academic planning

Acceptable use of person-level data for purposes consistent with:

  • Identification of meritorious or under‐recognized faculty for honorific award nominations
  • Identification of relevant grant opportunities for faculty
  • Identification of faculty interdisciplinary relationships and collaborative networks

Limitations of the Data

This subsection addresses the inherent limitations of Academic Analytics data at UNC Charlotte:

  • The Academic Analytics database captures measures of research activity; other critical activities of faculty members are not measured, including teaching, service, and engagement.
  • In certain disciplines – especially the arts and humanities – there are forms of faculty scholarly activity that are not captured in the Academic Analytics database.

Limited Use of the Data

This subsection addresses the limited uses of Academic Analytics data at UNC Charlotte.

UNC Charlotte administration at the university, college, or department level should not solely use Academic Analytics data for:

  • Setting salary or merit increases
  • Decisions over retention offers
  • Internal funding decisions
  • Decisions on allocations of faculty lines
  • Promotion and tenure deliberations
  • Annual faculty performance evaluations
  • Decisions about teaching loads
  • Faculty termination
  • Program elimination

Public Display of the Data

Approved users of Academic Analytics data may display UNC Charlotte content publicly. However, approved users may not reference specific data or rankings of other institutions by name. Acceptable uses include the following:

  • Rankings are listed in units of ten as a minimum (top 10, top 20, etc.)
  • No more than three similar institutions may be referenced
  • The database year must be stated
  • The particular metric is stated

For example, a program could share the following information publicly:

“Based upon Academic Analytics’ 2022 database, UNC Charlotte’s program in X is ranked in the top 20 institutions for articles per faculty member, and is in the company of universities such as University A and University B.”

It is not permitted to state that UNC Charlotte’s program or department ranks higher than specific institutions or groups of institutions. Moreover, it is not permitted to state that “Academic Analytics ranks UNC Charlotte” as better than any other institution or group of institutions.

III. Definitions

There are currently no definitions for this procedure.

IV. Policy Contact(s)

V. History

  • Established: March 21, 2023

VI. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is the primary contact for Academic Analytics data at UNC Charlotte?
    The Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics, or designee, is the primary contact for Academic Analytics at UNC Charlotte (academicanalytics@uncc.edu).
  • Is training required to access Academic Analytics or Faculty Insight portals?
    Yes, individuals are required to complete a training session before access to the Academic Analytics system is granted. Training opportunities will be available on campus or virtually through the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support, as well as, occasional campus visits by an Academic Analytics representative. For more information on upcoming training sessions, send an email to academicanalytics@uncc.edu.
  • What’s the difference between the Academic Analytics Portal and the Faculty Insight portal?
    The Faculty Insight portal includes data for an individual faculty member. All individual faculty members will have access to their data via the Faculty Insight portal (NOTE: only permanent tenure, tenure-track, and research faculty are granted access to the portal). Faculty should review their data for accuracy and submit requests for correcting omissions or errors from the Faculty Insight portal.

    The Academic Analytics portal includes data from all permanent tenure, tenure-track, and research faculty at UNC Charlotte. As such, access to this portal is granted to senior-level administrators (e.g., Provost, Deans, Chairs, et cetera).

  • Will department Chairs have access to college-level data?
    No, department Chairs, will have access to their own department’s metrics and comparative data through the Academic Analytics portal, but not to other departments’ data. Similarly, college Deans will only have access to their college’s data.
  • Where can I send requests for custom analysis reports of Academic Analytics data?
    Please send your request to our Academic Analytics representative, Caroline Alikonis (calikonis@academicanalytics.com).