Redesigning research evaluation practices for the Social Sciences and Humanities: Perspectives from the European network for research evaluation in the social sciences and humanities (ENRESSH)

Stefan de Jong, Corina Balaban, Jon Holm, Jack Spaapen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of the ENRESSH network with relevance to academic and policy communities. As a recently completed COST action running between April 2016 and April 2020, ENRESSH consists of over 150 researchers and policy makers from 40 countries across Europe and beyond. Through its ongoing research and networking, ENRESSH has worked towards two goals: 1) to enhance the visibility of research in the social sciences and humanities (SSH), as well as its potential to address questions around major societal challenges and 2) to develop comprehensive evaluation methods that better fit how researchers in the SSH communicate. In response to the first goal, ENRESSH proposes that, in order to enhance the visibility of the SSH, impact assessments need to be more inclusive, in particular towards the values and practices of the SSH. This could be achieved by focusing on the interaction processes between researchers and stakeholders, by acknowledging different types of impact and impact pathways, and by improving the understanding of impact by SSH researchers. In response to the second goal of improving evaluation methods, ENRESSH recommends that (extended) peer review constitutes the basis for evaluation, given that it is more suitable to meet the specific cognitive, and often context-dependent, challenges of SSH research. While peer review may continue to be supported by quantitative measurements, these need to be aligned with the types of output and communication patterns prevalent in the SSH. Finally, in order to implement our research-based vision, the ENRESSH community advocates a closer a collaboration between SSH researchers, policy makers and societal stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-35
JournalDeeds and Days
Volume2020
Issue number73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Social Sciences
  • HUMANITIES
  • research evaluation
  • Societal impact
  • Internationalization

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