An untenured philosopher writes:
Obviously those who publish longer work would benefit if length was generally associated with a multiplier in tenure and promotion deliberations. Let's stipulate that the added length under consideration is not padding or bloat, that there is not repetition, etc. Let's also stipulate that brevity is, other things being equal, a precious virtue in philosophical writing. But let's also recognize that some projects and arguments are not conducive to brief presentation.
As an example, set the multiplier at a relatively stingy (number of pages/30). Under this scheme, an 60-page article (in journal of caliber X) would be regarded roughly as 2 articles would be (in journals of caliber X), a 45-page article as 1.5, ...
I have a two-part query. First, do tenure and promotion committees (implicitly or explicitly) regard longer work in this way? Second, should they?
My view is that they should. Longer papers, like books - which are often associated with multipliers in the sorts of deliberations I'm interested in - generally contain more argumentation and require more work to produce than shorter papers (even while being reviewed at much higher standards than your typical OUP monograph). These are things that should be recognized and rewarded by tenure and promotion committees.
Caveat 1: we must be careful not to reward (and thereby incentivize) bloated writing. But a committee's default assumption should be that bloat, filler, etc., are generally eliminated during peer-review. Caveat 2: the amount of added work probably cannot be read directly off the page count, which is why the multiplier I've suggested is relatively stingy.
I would be curious to know what you think about this.
In tenure reviews I've done in recent years, this hasn't been an issue. I guess if a candidate had three 60-page papers, I would note the length with respect to the question of productivity. But the qualitative considerations tend to dominate in most of the cases I can recall.
Thoughts from readers? Signed comments preferred, but if you're concerned that particulars of a tenure case will be apparent with your name attached, you can post with a distinctive pseudonym, but please include a valid e-mail, which will not appear.