Insights into evaluation of research “quality”: what role for the researcher?

21st July 2022 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Speaker: Maria Rucsandra Stan, Carlo Cattaneo University/University of Oxford

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

In the last years there has been an increased awareness of the critical role that academic research has at a national and regional level of a country’s development requiring it to be managed for public policy purposes. In fact, many countries have implemented a research evaluation system to cope with the complexity of the concept ‘quality of scientific research’, to balance the connections between scientific research and public purposes, and to guarantee the sustainability of academia through the system of competitive funding.

This seminar aims to focus on the role, contributions, and responsibilities of the researcher in the context of research evaluation as an academic part of a community, on the one hand, and as an academic editor of a journal on the other hand. Through a Systematic Literature Network Analysis, the research first identifies two main communities reflecting the contributions of Social Sciences and Bibliometrics. In this scenario, the researcher is identified as an academic part of a particular scholarly community where the act of creatively and systematically building further blocks of knowledge on research evaluation involves the effort of numerous diversified disciplines, each investigating the topic from different perspective. In fact, the literature on research evaluation and its effects is vast and diverse. The results of the literature review draw attention to the contributions of the communities of researchers from Social Sciences and Bibliometrics, by depicting their responsibilities and function within the research assessment process and providing an emerging definition of ‘research quality’. However, a researcher is not only a scholar part of a community, but sometimes they also hold roles as academic editors in different journals, thus, directly acting as an agent in deciding which manuscripts are published. By conducting a survey to editors of journals from organisational sciences and orthopaedics and sports medicine, the research aims to identify, through the perspective of Institutional Logics, the underlying assumptions (in this case, institutional logics) that lead an editor to legitimise the quality of the chosen manuscript to be published. Hence, the responsibilities and role of the researcher could be seen as twofold, first, by contributing to the discourses on research evaluation from their community’s perspective, and second, by acting as a legitimising agent of the mechanism of evaluation and influencing scholarly communication.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).