Category: Evaluation framework

Closing the evaluation gap? Social Sciences and Humanities and the reform of research assessment

In this post, Ioana Galleron, professor of Digital humanities in the University Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle and former chair of ENRESSH shares insights on why scholars’ informed judgement from specific disciplinary fields should be in the heart of the ongoing reform, where are the biggest mismatches currently in the SSH domain and how the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment should and could integrate such bottom-up perspectives.

Reflections on research assessment #2: Emanuel Kulczycki on ”Essential research is published in all languages”

Is social sciences and humanities scholarship well served by the current and nascent academic reward mechanisms? And if not, where our options and power lie to change this for the better? Recognized as crucial for the future well-being and flourishing of humanistic scholarship, such questions have been repeatedly raised and discussed on DARIAH Open both in opinion pieces, in declaring commitments or policy reflections. In support of the ongoing European research assessment reform, we are extending this ongoing thread of discussion and inviting expert perspectives from the social sciences and humanities fields to further explore the issues and opportunities our research domain faces in the brave new world of research assessment. We hope in this way to spark a discussion in the arts and humanities on what we can hope to gain, and what opportunities we have to move forward.

Research Group and policy advisor to the Ministry of Education and Science in Poland shares insights on the essential multilingual nature of Social Sciences and Humanities research and argues that for the reform to be successful, rehabilitating the notion of multilingualism and appropriately rewarding contributions in all languages is an absolute precondition.

 Reflections on research assessment #1: Samuel Moore on ”Research assessment in the university without condition”

Is social sciences and humanities scholarship well served by the current and nascent academic reward mechanisms? And if not, where our options and power lie to change this for the better? Recognized as crucial for the future well-being and flourishing of humanistic scholarship, such questions have been repeatedly raised and discussed on DARIAH Open both in opinion pieces, in declaring commitments or policy reflections. In support of the ongoing European research assessment reform, we are extending this ongoing thread of discussion and invite expert perspectives from the social sciences and humanities fields to further explore the issues and opportunities our research domain face in the brave new world of research assessment. We hope in this way to spark a discussion in the arts and humanities on what we can hope to gain, and what opportunities we have to move forward.
In the first post of the series, Dr. Samuel Moore, Scholarly Communication Specialist at Cambridge University Library, and Research Associate at Homerton College, Cambridge invites us to take a step back from the actual performance indicators and revisit the research assessment discourse in the contrasting lights of the realities of the academic job market versus the unconditionality imperative of humanistic scholarship. His thoughts deeply resonate with the #IchBinHanna movement and other initiatives who, above any other kinds of reforms, call for improving the labor conditions in academia.

Joining forces to realign research assessment to research realities: a Europe-wide Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment is now published 

The existing tools of academic rewards and recognition criteria, such as citation counts, h-indexes, and the weight of publisher prestige have ceased to accurately reflect what we most value in, and need from, research. On the 20th of July, the European Commission, Science Europe, the European University Association (EUA) has reached a milestone in bringing a critical mess of 380 organizations (universities, funders, academies and learned societies, research centers, ministries, etc.) together from across and beyond Europe to form a coalition and carry out this timely reform. The first result of the joint effort, the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, sets shared goals and priorities for this critical mass of stakeholders on how to reform assessment practices for researchers, research projects and research performing organizations. DARIAH has been contributing to the initiative from the beginning by voicing shared needs and epistemic specificities of the arts and humanities domain and emphasizing  the need for discipline-tuned infrastructural enablers to such a process. As we welcome this new initiative and its implications over the coming months, we will be exploring further the issues social sciences and humanities face in the brave new world of research assessment. We hope in this way to launch a discussion in the arts and humanities about what we can hope to gain, and what opportunities we have to move forward in this new world. 

Talking peer review series #2: Experiences in Optimizing Peer-Reviewing – A success story in five acts, three years, and two astonishing voting rounds

Peer review is a central scholarly practice, a practice that carries an enormous weight in terms of gatekeeping; shaping disciplines, publication patterns and power relations. It governs the (re)distribution of resources such as research grants, promotions, tenure and even larger institutional budgets. As such, it is crucial to deeply understand how it works in situated evaluation practices, and to continually rethink it to strive for its best, and least imperfect (or reasonably imperfect) instances. This new series on the blog, Talking Peer Review, is a means to do just that. You will find here reflections, reports, opinion pieces and, to bring in some metascience, reviews of the current state of the art in the arts and humanities disciplines. In this episode Anne Baillot, Professor in German Studies at Le Mans Université shares her and her team’s experiences on bringing open peer review to the annual conference of the German-speaking Digital Humanities association – in 5 acts. Her insights do not only shed light on some of the dramatic aspects of peer review and showcase why it is difficult to change ingrained, established practices; but also reveal how an empathetic, deeply sensible approach can foster meaningful dialogues across members of a scholarly association and can eventually lead to the redefinition of such practices along increased transparency and equity.

Talking peer review series #1: On kindness in scholarly evaluation practices – a guest post

Peer review is a central scholarly practice, a practice that carries an enormous weight in terms of gatekeeping; shaping disciplines, publication patterns and power relations. It governs the (re)distribution of resources such as research grants, promotions, tenure and even larger institutional budgets. As such, it is crucial to deeply understand how it works in situated evaluation practices, and to continually rethink it to strive for its best, and least imperfect (or reasonably imperfect) instances. This new series on the blog, Talking Peer Review, is a means to do just that. You will find here reflections, reports, opinion pieces and, to bring in some metascience, reviews of the current state of the art in the arts and humanities disciplines. In the first episode, Anne Baillot, Professor in German Studies at Le Mans Université shares insights about the value of kindness in peer review and possibilities to bring more transparency to the process Enjoy! 

Bringing arts and humanities perspectives to the redefinition of ” what counts” in research(er) evaluation

Research assessment has been recognized as the Achilles heel of firmly grounding Open Science practices in research realities for a long while now. A wide range of innovative, born-digital scholarship are still invisible from formal research administration and assessment. Entering 2022, we see strong European-level policy drive and momentum to change this for the better. In this post, we showcase 4 ways in which DARIAH supports this important endeavor in areas that naturally fall close to DARIAH’s mission.

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