Currently, there is an intense debate on the intensification of the use of quantitative metrics and indicators in the evaluation of the quality of academic work (Alberts et al. 2014, Burrows 2012, DORA 2012, Hicks et al. 2015, Wilsdon et al. 2015). Critics have argued that a misguided use of metric indicators can have a range of negative effects on the social fabric and the innovative potential of research. Among these negative effects is also a reduction of researchers’ sensibility to values outside the narrow competition for scientific excellence, reducing their potential to act responsibly. Investigating processes of the valuation and evaluation of research hence needs to be an integral part of studying the conditions which enable or hinder researchers to act responsibly.
In exploring this topic, platform research builds on the long tradition of the study of scientific practice in science and technology studies (Knorr-Cetina 1999) , and fuses it with recent concepts and insights from the emergent field of valuation studies (Kjellberg et al. 2013, Lamont 2012).
Alberts, B., Kirschner, M. W., Tilghman, S., & Varmus, H. (2014). Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(16), 5773-5777. doi:10.1073/pnas.1404402111
Burrows, R. (2012). Living with the h-index? Metric assemblages in the contemporary academy. The Sociological Review, 60(2), 355-372. doi:10.1111/j.1467-954X.2012.02077.x
DORA. (2012). San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment: Putting science into the assessment of research. Retrieved from www.ascb.org/files/SFDeclarationFINAL.pdf
Felt, U., Barben, D., Irwin, A., Joly, P.-B., Rip, A., Stirling, A., & Stockelova, T. (2013). Science in Society: caring for our futures in turbulent times. Strasbourg: European Science Foundation.
Fochler, M., Felt, U., & Müller, R. (2016). Unsustainable Growth, Hyper-Competition, and Worth in Life Science Research: Narrowing Evaluative Repertoires in Doctoral and Postdoctoral Scientists’ Work and Lives. Minerva, 54(2), 175-200. doi:DOI 10.1007/s11024-016-9292-y
Hicks, D., Wouters, P., Waltman, L., Rijcke, S. d., & Rafols, I. (2015). Bibliometrics: The Leiden manifesto for research metrics. Nature, 520, 429-431.
Kjellberg, H., Mallard, A., Arjalies, D.-L., Aspers, P., Beljean, S., Bidet, A., . . . Woolgar, S. (2013). Valuation Studies? Our Collective Two Cents. Valuation Studies, 1(1), 11-30. doi:10.3384/vs.2001-5992.131111
Knorr-Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic cultures: how the sciences make knowledge. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: Harvard University Press.
Lamont, M. (2012). Toward a Comparative Sociology of Valuation and Evaluation. Annual Review of Sociology, 38(1), 201-221. doi:doi:10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-120022
Wilsdon, J., Allen, L., Belfiore, E., Campbell, P., Curry, S., Hill, S., . . . Johnson, B. (2015). The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management.