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Arts and Humanities Research Evaluation: No Metrics Please, Just Data

Delgado, Maria M. and Thelwell, Mike (2015) Arts and Humanities Research Evaluation: No Metrics Please, Just Data. Journal of Documentation, 71 (4). pp. 817-833. ISSN 0022-0418

Abstract

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to make an explicit case for the use of data with contextual information as evidence in arts and humanities research evaluations rather than systematic metrics.

Design/methodology/approach
– A survey of the strengths and limitations of citation-based indicators is combined with evidence about existing uses of wider impact data in the arts and humanities, with particular reference to the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework.

Findings
– Data are already used as impact evidence in the arts and humanities but this practice should become more widespread.

Practical implications
– Arts and humanities researchers should be encouraged to think creatively about the kinds of data that they may be able to generate in support of the value of their research and should not rely upon standardised metrics.

Originality/value
– This paper combines practices emerging in the arts and humanities with research evaluation from a scientometric perspective to generate new recommendations.

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