25 February 2014 9 Comments
Do you publish in books and journals that you think are best for your work?
While this may come across as a dense question, it’s a live and thorny issue for many scholars who are caught in national ‘research quality’ metrics that rank publications, particularly journals.
@thesiswhisperer commented recently that “[c]lassifying my publications by FOR code makes me look like a person who can’t make up their mind what they want to do”.
The title for this post paraphrases @jod999, who responded wisely with: “Your success says a lot more than your #FoR codes. Just keep doing what you do.”
If you haven’t yet encountered a national research quality exercise, I have two things to say to you:
- Congratulations – you still walk in the light; and
- If you’re hoping to hang in academia for a bit, read on to work out how you might negotiate these research quality systems when they cross your radar.
Research quality exercises are created as standardised, supposedly objective modes of measuring the quality of research being produced by research organisations (and, down the ladder, by individual researchers).
The systems are also constantly embroiled in passionate debate about their viability, accuracy, and scope. Is research output the best way to measure research quality? Dare we talk about research impact? What do citations really measure about a piece of work? How much ‘gaming’ of the system, for its own sake, takes place?