- 02 Dec 2019
Research quality in transition: Perspectives from Research Policy studies
02 Dec 2019 - 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
A basic article of faith in science has been that research quality is fluid: it is both dependent on the state of the art and relative to the field of study. Left to itself then science would probably treat the utterance that research quality is in transition as a banal utterance, at best, a signal that some discipline is complaining about a new evaluation measure. What then could research policy scholars mean by claiming that research quality is in transition? In response to this question, this paper proposes to focus on three significant transitions in research quality. In this talk, I will argue that the use of the term research quality as opposed to scientific quality is in itself a signal of whose voices will be represented in the ensuing discussion of quality. Firstly, whereas scientific quality is exclusive, research quality can be read as a more inclusive terms – yet, this does not necessarily translate into research quality being a champion of citizen-based evaluation of science. Secondly. research quality signals a focus on process rather than on mere measures of outputs. While scientific quality often exclusively focuses on the quality of the knowledge produced, a transition to research quality offers the opportunity to include aspects of the wider context in which knowledge is produced such as the gender distribution in research facilities, the internationalisation of the research environment or the inclusion of minority perspectives. Last but not least, research quality may be understood as a process of standardisation that makes it possible for non-experts (funders, policymakers) to ‘assess’ the quality of research. The talk will this discuss these transformations and their possible impact on definitions of of quality in science.
Technical University of Munich
TUM School of Management