Evaluation complacency or evaluation inertia? A study of evaluative metrics and research practices in Irish universities
M. Ladisch: 0000-0002-0124-5582
Early online publication
Evaluative metrics have been used for research assessment in most universities and funding agencies with the assumption that more publications and higher citation counts imply increased productivity and better quality of research. This study investigates the understanding and perceptions of metrics, as well as the influences and implications of the use of evaluative metrics on research practices, including choice of research topics and publication channels, citation behavior, and scholarly communication in Irish universities. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with researchers from the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences in various career stages. Our findings show that there are conflicting attitudes toward evaluative metrics in principle and in practice. The phenomenon is explained by two concepts: evaluation complacency and evaluation inertia. We conclude that evaluative metrics should not be standardized and institutionalized without a thorough examination of their validity and reliability and without having their influences on academic life, research practices, and knowledge production investigated. We also suggest that an open and public discourse should be supported for the discussion of evaluative metrics in the academic community.
The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their invaluable comments and suggestions. They also thank the participants of this study for their time, insights, and support.
Evaluation complacency or evaluation inertia? A study of evaluative metrics and research practices in Irish universities.
Research Evaluation, Early online publication,
Final publication in Research Evaluation here: DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvz008
Author's Accepted Manuscript version will be available here after a 2 year embargo, per publisher restriction.