Accountability in Academic Life


Accountability in Academic Life

European Perspectives on Societal Impact Evaluation

9781800885721 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Michael Ochsner, Senior Researcher, Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS), University of Lausanne, Switzerland and Zoe Hope Bulaitis, Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
Publication Date: ISBN: 978 1 80088 572 1 Extent: 264 pp
This insightful book explores the answers to two ongoing debates: how should societal impact of research be measured and to what extent national research evaluation systems are fit for purpose?

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This insightful book explores the answers to two ongoing debates: how should societal impact of research be measured and to what extent are national research evaluation systems fit for purpose?

In exploring these two questions, the selection of expert contributors provide thought-provoking cross-European analysis and establish a comparative perspective on “impact” in the twenty-first century. Bringing together important national case studies from social sciences and humanities (SSH), Accountability in Academic Life provides a detailed insight into the complexities faced ensuring that publicly-funded research creates true value for society. Furthermore, leading SSH experts provide policy recommendations and insights to navigate the contemporary research landscape and improve research methods.

This book will be invaluable for scholars and students in science policy studies, providing both accessible stand-alone topics and greater in-depth discussions. Policymakers interested in the improvement of research evaluation leading to better scientific outcomes will also find this informative and illuminating.
Critical Acclaim
‘The evaluation of the societal impact of the Social Sciences and Humanities remains a challenging undertaking. This edited book compiles and compares different national experiences underscoring the variety of impact processes, and the different ways in which “impact” is defined, understood and assessed. Providing in-depth analyses that improves understanding and clear guidelines for the development and implementation of impact evaluation approaches this is a recommended read.’
– Jordi Molas-Gallart, Director INGENIO, (CSIC-UPV), Spain

‘This fascinating book offers a timely analysis about how societal impact of social sciences/humanities research is evaluated in Europe. Historical and contemporary reflections are enhanced by critical accounts of how different countries assess and value societal impact in social science and humanities. A “must-read” for academics, policymakers and research administrators.’
– Rosemary Deem, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

‘Accountability in Academic Life: European Perspectives on Societal Impact Evaluation gathers rich and insightful accounts of how social impact has been discussed and implemented in Europe. In combining a detailed analysis of specific national contexts with a broader historical, theoretical, and political discussion, the book offers unique insights into a key topic in contemporary research policy. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in social impact and the evaluation of research in the social sciences and humanities.’
– Björn Hammarfelt, University of Borås, Sweden
Contributors include: Corina Balaban, Andrea Bonaccorsi, Zoe Hope Bulaitis, Elena Castro-Martinez, Ondřej Daniel, Stefan de Jong, Aldis Gedutis, Elea Giménez Toledo, Laura Himanen, Marlene Iseli, Kęstas Kirtiklis, Gabi Lombardo, Lai Ma, Jorge Mañana Rodríguez, Reetta Muhonen, Alis Oancea, Michael Ochsner, Julia Olmos-Peñuela, Ginevra Peruginelli, Janne Pölönen, Eiríkur Smári Sigurðarson, Karel Šima, Jack Spaapen, Marc Vanholsbeeck 

1 Accountability in academic life: introduction to European
perspectives on societal impact evaluation 1
Michael Ochsner and Zoe Bulaitis

2 Manifesto for a better societal impact evaluation 10
Michael Ochsner, Zoe Hope Bulaitis, Corina Balaban,
Elena Castro-Martínez, Ondřej Daniel, Aldis Gedutis,
Elea Giménez-Toledo, Marlène Iseli, Stefan de Jong, Lai
Ma, Jorge Mañana-Rodríguez, Reeta Muhonen, Julia
Olmos-Peñuela, Ginevra Peruginelli, Eiríkur Smári
Sigurðarson, Karel Šima, Jack Spaapen and Marc Vanholsbeeck
3 The need for historical inquiry into societal impact
evaluation: towards a genealogy of the notion of useful research 30
Aldis Gedutis, Zoe Hope Bulaitis and Michael Ochsner
4 Beyond the frame: hard-to-assess research–impact
nexuses in the Social Sciences and the Humanities 51
Alis Oancea
5 Considering international contexts in societal impact
evaluation and SSH: a perspective from EASSH 60
Gabi Lombardo

6 Engaged scientists or public intellectuals: the disputed
public role of SSH researchers within the French
Community of Belgium 67
Marc Vanholsbeeck
7 Societal impact evaluation in SSH in the Czech Republic:
in defence against the strong STEM application discourse 81
Karel Šima and Ondřej Daniel
8 Evaluation of societal impact of the Social Sciences and
Humanities in Finland 96
Reetta Muhonen, Laura Himanen and Janne Pölönen
9 From moral panic to accountability: societal impact,
evaluations, and bibliometrics in Iceland 114
Eiríkur Smári Sigurðarson
10 Responsible societal impact (without) evaluation:
reflections from Ireland 127
Lai Ma
11 The Italian path to the evaluation of the Third Mission 139
Andrea Bonaccorsi and Ginevra Peruginelli
12 The (SSH) impact discourses in Lithuania: blissful
impactlessness versus imminent impact? 155
Aldis Gedutis and Kęstas Kirtiklis
13 Formative evaluation in the Netherlands: an opportunity
for the arts, humanities and social sciences 173
Stefan de Jong and Jack Spaapen
14 SSH knowledge transfer and societal impact in Spain:
from recognition at the individual level to institutional initiatives 187
Elea Giménez-Toledo, Elena Castro-Martínez, Julia
Olmos-Penuela and Jorge Mañana-Rodríguez
15 Societal impact, innovation, or public value?
Switzerland’s approach to research impact evaluation and
the SSH 204
Michael Ochsner, Corina Balaban and Marlène Iseli
16 Impact, innovation and the public humanities: evaluating
the societal impact of research in the United Kingdom 224
Zoe Hope Bulaitis

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