Aligning Open Science with Promotion and Tenure Guidelines

The University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology Leads the Way

October 2023

It has long been recognized that transparent and accessible knowledge enhances scientific integrity and enables greater participation by collaborators outside of academia. However, promotion and tenure guidelines often do not reward open science practices, which often prevents faculty members from pursuing research projects for the public good.

The University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology tackled this problem and, in April 2022, adopted new guidelines that explicitly codify open science as a core criteria in tenure and promotion review. The successful adoption of this new policy presents an opportunity to push for enduring systemic change, to ensure that incentives for advancement reflect the values of faculty members and their institutions.

As Department Chair, webinar speaker Michael Dougherty championed this change and led a multi-year effort to develop and implement the new policy. He was committed to rewarding work that was made broadly available without barriers, but he recognized it would be a culture change that required time. During this webinar, he described the approach that was taken to develop and adopt the new policy, aimed at empowering faculty members to do research in the way that they want to do it, and on the topics that energize them. 

Watch the full webinar recording and a short video with key takeaway messages below. 

Read the key takeaway messages from all of our webinars here.

Key Takeaway Messages

  • Administrators can accelerate change efforts by signaling their support, loudly and often.
  • Administrators are very often open to new ways of doing things.
  • Faculty members want to do the right thing, but often struggle to do so.
  • Many faculty members are excited to pursue new cross-sectoral collaborative project.
  • It can be difficult to imagine a different promotion and tenure system.
  • Intentionality and persistence are essential for successful change efforts.


Michael Dougherty
University of Maryland

Michael Dougherty is Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research and administrative efforts have been driven by a commitment to the view that basic research ought to be guided by real-world problems.

Watch the full webinar recording

Watch key excerpts from the webinar