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Co-existing Notions of Research Quality: A Framework to Study Context-specific Understandings of Good Research

Langfeldt, Liv ; Nedeva, Maria LU ; Sörlin, Sverker and Thomas, Duncan A. (2019) In Minerva
Abstract

Notions of research quality are contextual in many respects: they vary between fields of research, between review contexts and between policy contexts. Yet, the role of these co-existing notions in research, and in research policy, is poorly understood. In this paper we offer a novel framework to study and understand research quality across three key dimensions. First, we distinguish between quality notions that originate in research fields (Field-type) and in research policy spaces (Space-type). Second, drawing on existing studies, we identify three attributes (often) considered important for ‘good research’: its originality/novelty, plausibility/reliability, and value or usefulness. Third, we identify five different sites where... (More)

Notions of research quality are contextual in many respects: they vary between fields of research, between review contexts and between policy contexts. Yet, the role of these co-existing notions in research, and in research policy, is poorly understood. In this paper we offer a novel framework to study and understand research quality across three key dimensions. First, we distinguish between quality notions that originate in research fields (Field-type) and in research policy spaces (Space-type). Second, drawing on existing studies, we identify three attributes (often) considered important for ‘good research’: its originality/novelty, plausibility/reliability, and value or usefulness. Third, we identify five different sites where notions of research quality emerge, are contested and institutionalised: researchers themselves, knowledge communities, research organisations, funding agencies and national policy arenas. We argue that the framework helps us understand processes and mechanisms through which ‘good research’ is recognised as well as tensions arising from the co-existence of (potentially) conflicting quality notions.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Knowledge communities, Research fields, Research organisations, Research policy, Research quality notions
in
Minerva
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85071419866
ISSN
0026-4695
DOI
10.1007/s11024-019-09385-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a52bc3b4-a16a-4d19-af8e-8ce96c1c8b8b
date added to LUP
2019-09-18 15:24:16
date last changed
2020-04-02 02:42:07
@article{a52bc3b4-a16a-4d19-af8e-8ce96c1c8b8b,
  abstract     = {<p>Notions of research quality are contextual in many respects: they vary between fields of research, between review contexts and between policy contexts. Yet, the role of these co-existing notions in research, and in research policy, is poorly understood. In this paper we offer a novel framework to study and understand research quality across three key dimensions. First, we distinguish between quality notions that originate in research fields (Field-type) and in research policy spaces (Space-type). Second, drawing on existing studies, we identify three attributes (often) considered important for ‘good research’: its originality/novelty, plausibility/reliability, and value or usefulness. Third, we identify five different sites where notions of research quality emerge, are contested and institutionalised: researchers themselves, knowledge communities, research organisations, funding agencies and national policy arenas. We argue that the framework helps us understand processes and mechanisms through which ‘good research’ is recognised as well as tensions arising from the co-existence of (potentially) conflicting quality notions.</p>},
  author       = {Langfeldt, Liv and Nedeva, Maria and Sörlin, Sverker and Thomas, Duncan A.},
  issn         = {0026-4695},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Minerva},
  title        = {Co-existing Notions of Research Quality: A Framework to Study Context-specific Understandings of Good Research},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11024-019-09385-2},
  doi          = {10.1007/s11024-019-09385-2},
  year         = {2019},
}