Frequently Asked Questions

Entering Your Contributions in Lyterati -- A Guide for Faculty: The basic substance, not the page by page how-to guide.


Q1: What exactly is Lyterati and why do I need to know about it?

A:  Lyterati is the new system that Lehigh will use for the professional activity reports (PARs) that faculty complete every year. In the future, Lyterati will also be used for the reappointment and tenure and promotion process. Beginning with the 2016 PARs that are due in January of 2017, the Lyterati system will replace the existing PAR systems in the four colleges.

Q2: Why do we need to learn a new system? Our PAR system was working just fine.

A:  The PAR system used by three of the four colleges was running on a Windows 2003 server. Microsoft discontinued all support for this legacy system, including issuing security patches and updates, more than a year ago. We really needed to upgrade before we had a system failure. Since we had to implement a system for three of the four colleges, it made sense to implement a system university-wide -- especially since we received feedback from CBE that while some were satisfied with its PAR system, others were dissatisfied.

Q3:  How is Lyterati structured?

A: Fundamentally, Lyterati is a database.  You will have all of your scholarly contributions, teaching contributions and service contributions in the Lyterati database. You will use the Lyterati database to generate your professional activity report (PAR). It is helpful to keep this structure in mind as you work with Lyterati.

Q4: I hear I’m going to have to enter things from my last two PARs into Lyterati, since faculty evaluations are based on three years of data. Can’t you just import this stuff from the old system?

A: When possible, we have done this. Some information (e.g., faculty and administrative appointments; courses taught; the number of graded students in a course; course evaluation information; grants) is imported directly from Banner, and must be edited in Banner rather than in Lyterati.

We tried to import as much information as possible from the existing college systems.

CBE: We are working to upload as much information as possible from Digital Measures.

CAS, CoE and the RCEAS: The legacy systems used by these colleges are designed in such a way that makes importing the data particularly challenging (i.e., it is unstructured data), so unfortunately we will not be able to import data from the legacy systems into the Lyterati system.

Though we weren’t able to import much legacy data, your legacy system is still available for you to cut and paste information from the old system into the new system.

Q5: Do I have any other options for importing any of my scholarly contributions?

A: For most faculty, yes. Faculty can import references from PubMed or from any database that will export to a csv or BibTex file format. An awful lot of databases have this feature, including Google Scholar, JSTOR, and others. This will be particularly helpful for faculty who have significant numbers of scholarly publications. The provost’s office is creating short videos that demonstrate importing publications from several different databases.

Q6: How would I download my references from a library database?

A: This is pretty straightforward. You would go to the database and do a search for yourself. Check the publications in which you are an author, and use that database’s download tool to download these references as a file. You will then use Lyterati’s import tool to import your scholarly references.

Q7: That’s all I need to do to import all my scholarly references? That’s it?

A: There is another step. You need to tell Lyterati the order that information appears in the references. This is a drag-and-drop process to match the order of items in two columns. (If using PubMed, you don’t need this step.) The additional training materials, and the how-to sessions, demonstrate this.

Q8: How good is this importing tool?

A: It’s quite good. The tool doesn’t always do a good job including volume numbers, issue numbers and page numbers for journal articles, so you will probably need to do a bit of manual editing of these entries, but even with that, the importing tool will save you a lot of time.

Q9: Ok, so I should start by importing scholarly contributions where possible -- should I enter more than the last two years of contributions?

A: If you will be going up for tenure or promotion in the future, you should import all the contributions that you would list on your CV, even those from more than two years ago. But for PAR purposes, Lehigh needs only the contributions from the last two years.

Q10: What do I do about the scholarly contributions that aren’t in a database?

A: You can cut and paste these entries from your CV or previous PAR. You can also highlight entries from your CV and “drag” them to the relevant field on the Lyterati screen. With the Lyterati screen open, you can paste your copied citation (or drag the highlighted text) into the “Formatted Display (Citation)” window.
If you are copying entries that are journal articles and scholarly papers, you will then click the “parse” button, and Lyterati will take that information and fill in the other fields -- putting your name in the author field, the title of the work in the title field, and so forth. As with importing, you might need to do a bit of correcting after hitting the “parse” button, but Lyterati does a pretty good job parsing.

Q11: What about my service contributions, and my teaching contributions that aren’t imported from Banner?

A: For previous years, you should cut and paste information from your CV or PAR.  For the current year, you simply enter the new information into the proper category.

Q12: I have a LOT of service contributions each year! Do I really need to enter all that?

A: All faculty members should enter what they consider to be significant service contributions during the last two years. (If you aren’t sure what is significant, then discuss this with your department chair.) Faculty members who will seek tenure or promotion at Lehigh will need to enter their full service record, as they would display it on their CV -- so again, think major service, not minor service. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to enter your full record of service until you come up for tenure or promotion when Lehigh has implemented Lyterati for the T&P process -- which is at least a year away. So you will have some time to enter your contributions from 2013 and earlier.

Q13: What?!? I’ve been at Lehigh for 16 years and I’m being reviewed for promotion to full professor in two years. Does that mean I’m going to have to enter all those years of service contributions?

A: Yes, if you are going to be reviewed for tenure or promotion, you will need to enter all entries you want on your record -- BUT there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, we’re talking about major service here. You might have listed certain service on your PAR each year that you wouldn’t include in a tenure or promotion file. You don’t need to import that information. Second, the fact that Lyterati is a database will help you here. As an example, you won’t have to list, for each of the past umpteen years, that you were a member of your department’s graduate committee in that year. You simply include an entry for membership on the committee, and mark the dates for the full time. This sort of entry is one entry, not umpteen entries.

Q14: Any last tips for entering my contributions in Lyterati?

A: Yes, we have a few. First, remember that you are creating one PAR report that covers 2014 through 2016. Under your legacy system, you entered data for the most recent year, and then clicked a button to combine three reports together. In this system, since this is the first year we are using it, you will need to enter (likely by cutting and pasting) three years of information for one PAR report. We recommend this order:

1) enter (or import) your scholarly contributions for 2014 through 2016.

2) enter your teaching contributions for 2014 through 2016.

3) enter your service contributions for 2014 to 2016.

Second, be aware that Lyterati allows you to change the dates for some contributions. For example, if you served on your regional association’s executive committee for the last two years, you won’t need to list this twice. You will make one entry, and then specify time period that you served.

Third, if you have a good number of scholarly publications, we recommend attending one of the Lyterati trainings sponsored by the provost’s office, using the how-to videos, or working with a librarian to learn how to import these references.

Fourth, we recommend starting early to enter at least some of your information. This will give you a feel for the system. Lehigh has how-to videos to demonstrate the steps to creating your PAR. We have also scheduled several training sessions for faculty who would like to start their PAR in this sort of setting.