Referee/Comparator Information List Guidelines (FASTAP 2016)


The department/program chair (supported by the chair’s assistant) prepares an alphabetized list of proposed referees (and comparators for initial promotions/external appointments to tenure) that includes as much of the following as is feasible to obtain without undue effort (and without revealing the identity of potential referees/comparators to the candidate):

  • The name of the referee/comparator (in bold)

  • Degree information (institution and date [or approximate date if actual date is not readily available])

  • Current position (their rank must be equivalent to or higher than the rank for which the candidate is being considered)

  • Relevant honors

  • Major service activities (journal editorships, etc.)

  • Scholarly accomplishments and evidence of eminence (e.g., bibliography, citation counts, h-index, and/or other discipline-appropriate evidence)

  • Brief explanation of the appropriateness of the referee/comparator for the particular case (expertise, stature, presence in leading department, etc.).

Comparator Guidelines

  • For initial (external) appointments/promotions to tenure, generally three comparators are required who are within about five years of the candidate’s entrance into the profession or terminal degree year. An additional comparator is generally required who should be “aspirational” in the sense of having already achieved what we hope our candidate may achieve in the decade after promotion/appointment. All comparators should be the stars—rising or established—of the field broadly conceived.

  • In rare cases, there will be an acute trade-off between the requirement of four comparators and the need for comparators who are among the foremost experts in the relevant areas. In these cases, the divisional dean, in consultation with colleagues in the FAS Dean’s Office, may adopt a modified interpretation of the numeric comparator count.

  • It occasionally happens that a referee is also selected as a comparator. In these instances, an additional comparator should be selected and approved by the relevant divisional dean and added in place of the referee/comparator’s name only to the list that is provided to the referee/comparator. This avoids having the referee/comparator see their own name as part of a comparison set.

Referee Guidelines

  • Indication of whether the referee was proposed by the candidate or by the department

  • Information about whether the referee has written an evaluation of the candidate for a previous Yale appointment or promotion review (please specify)

  • Indication whether the referee is arm’s-length or not, with notes about any substantial connection to the candidate such as

    • whether the reviewer chaired or served on the candidate’s dissertation committee and/or shared a dissertation director with the candidate and/or was the candidate’s teacher or postdoctoral mentor

    • whether the reviewer and candidates are co-authors and/or have collaborated on research

Note: the department chair (supported by the chair’s assistant) should use the candidate’s CV to process a word search (click ctrl + shift + F to access the Find menu) to search by the last name of each referee. The findings of any referee names on the candidate’s CV should be shared with the department chair and the relevant divisional dean to aid in the determination of arm’s-length status.

Please refer to the Guidelines for Arm’s-Length and/or Fresh Status of External Referees.

Guidelines updated 3/11/2021