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Open Access Die Universität als Akteurin der transformativen Wissenschaft: Konsequenzen für die Messung der Qualität transdisziplinärer Forschung

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Grand challenges, Transformation, third mission: Wissenschaft und Universitäten sind zunehmend gefordert, gesellschaftlichen Wandel verantwortlich und aktiv mitzugestalten. Immer häufiger wird deswegen transdisziplinär geforscht. Doch bislang fehlt eine systematische Beschreibung, Bewertung und Anerkennung dieser wissenschaftlichen Leistungen.

Scientific research aimed at transforming society has a normative basis. Here, we will examine the potential of transdisciplinary research methods and what they have to offer in terms of desired transformation. Our observation is that it must be possible to assess the research results from such endeavours with regard to their specific impact. First, we will discuss the difficulties involved in measuring the quality of transdisciplinary research, in particular its social impact. This leads to a broader examination of the meaning of quality in this type of research. Consequently, we advise complementing the existing catalogue of indicators with specific criteria related to the quality of transdisciplinary approaches. An international transdisciplinary research society could potentially serve as an independent body to foster definition and commitment.

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Keywords: research evaluation; social impact; societal impact; transdisciplinary research; transformative science

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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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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