Graphic on Perspectives on Social Science Impact

Impact: Who Decides? 

In this first response to Ziyad Marar’s thought piece “On Measuring Social Science Impact,” professor Sue Fletcher-Watson, who represents a field where the direct purpose is to improve the quality of life for a group of individuals, shares why current metrics fall short and what we can do about it.

2 weeks ago
sad face selected in checklist

The Perils of Measuring Performance, Inside and Outside Academia

Quantification can reformulate something as complex and multidimensional as teaching into a one-dimensional score. And such a score gives the possessor a sense of control and understanding. But, given the implications of quantification, this is an illusion.

2 months ago

When Talking Broader Impact, Which Websites Do We Value?

Reporting on their recent survey of websites cited in REF 2014 impact case studies, Kayvan Kousha, Mike Thelwall and Mahshid Abdoli, discuss which websites are most commonly used as supporting evidence for impact and how these vary across academic disciplines.

3 months ago
Paths diverge in woods

Would You Forego Citations for Journal Status?

Presenting evidence from a new analysis of business and management academics, the authors explore how journal status is valued by these academics and the point at which journal status becomes more prized than academic influence.

4 months ago
Grid of numbers written on asphalt

How Metrics Affect Peer Review for Academic Jobs and Grants

The aim of peer review for research grants and academic hiring boards is to provide expert independent judgement on the quality of research proposals and candidates. Based on findings from a recent survey, Liv Langfeldt, Dag W. Aksnes and Ingvild Reymert, find metrics continue to play a significant role in shaping these decisions, especially for reviewers who are highly ranked themselves.

6 months ago

Getting a Handle on Both Societal and Scientific Impact

In this post, Jorrit Smit and Laurens Hessels, draw on a recent analysis of different impact evaluation tools to explore how they constitute and direct conceptions of research impact. Finding a common separation between evaluation focused on scientific and societal impact, they suggest bridging this divide may prove beneficial to producing research that has public value, rather than research that achieves particular metrics.

8 months ago
university rankings _conceptual

Universities Are More than Their Score in Rankings Tables

Lizzie Gadd argues that any commitment to responsible research assessment needs to include action on global university rankings. She argues universities should unite around the principle of being ‘much more than their rank.’

12 months ago
girl surrounded by shadows

We Know More Than What is Measured About Gender Inequality in Academia

In academia gender bias is often figured in terms of research productivity and differentials surrounding the academic work of men and women. Alesia Zuccala and Gemma Derrick posit that this outlook inherently ignores a wider set of variables impacting women, and that attempts to achieve cultural change in academia can only be realised, by acknowledging variables that are ultimately difficult to quantify.

1 year ago
Raoult and Einstein

Why the h-index is a Bogus Measure of Academic Impact

Although experts in bibliometry have pointed out the dubious nature of the h-index, most researchers do not always seem to understand that its properties make it a far-from-valid index to seriously and ethically assess the quality or scientific impact of publications.

2 years ago