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Open Access Evaluating Research beyond Scientific Impact

How to Include Criteria for Productive Interactions and Impact on Practice and Society

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Abstract:

Currently, established research evaluation focuses on scientific impact – that is, the impact of research on science itself. We discuss extending research evaluation to cover productive interactions and the impact of research on practice and society. The results are based on interviews with scientists from (organic) agriculture and a review of the literature on broader/social/societal impact assessment and the evaluation of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. There is broad agreement about what activities and impacts of research are relevant for such an evaluation. However, the extension of research evaluation is hampered by a lack of easily usable data. To reduce the effort involved in data collection, the usability of existing documentation procedures (e.g., proposals and reports for research funding) needs to be increased. We propose a structured database for the evaluation of scientists, projects, programmes and institutions, one that will require little additional effort beyond existing reporting require ments.

Keywords: DATA ASSESSMENT; DOCUMENTATION; INTERDISCIPLINARITY; ORGANIC AGRICUL TURE; PRACTICE; PRODUCTIVE INTERACTIONS; RESEARCH EVALUATION; SOCIAL/SOCIETAL IMPACT; SUSTAINABILITY; TRANSDISCIPLINARITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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