The future of research assessment in the humanities: bottom-up assessment procedures

Michael Ochsner, Sven Hug, Ioana Galleron
2017 Palgrave Communications  
Research assessment in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) is delicate. Assessment procedures meet strong criticisms from SSH scholars and bibliometric research shows that the methods that are usually applied are ill-adapted to SSH research. While until recently research on assessment in the SSH disciplines focused on the deficiencies of the current assessment methods, we present some European initiatives that take a bottom-up approach. They focus on research practices in SSH and reflect
more » ... how to assess SSH research with its own approaches instead of applying and adjusting the methods developed for and in the natural and life sciences. This is an important development because we can learn from previous evaluation exercises that whenever scholars felt that assessment procedures were imposed in a top-down manner without proper adjustments to SSH research, it resulted in boycotts or resistance. Applying adequate evaluation methods not only helps foster a better valorization of SSH research within the research community, among policymakers and colleagues from the natural sciences, but it will also help society to better understand SSH's contributions to solving major societal challenges. Therefore, taking the time to encourage bottom-up evaluation initiatives should result in being able to better confront the main challenges facing modern society. This article is published as part of a collection on the future of research assessment.
doi:10.1057/palcomms.2017.20 fatcat:si72vulzxvcf5kyo4vjljflfzq