Research paper about ssh

See: the list of topics with an SSH dimension. Applicants should therefore ensure that:. Where relevant, applicants may also include contributions from the SSH in a project proposal under any H research topic. When evaluating a proposal submitted to a topic that was 'flagged' for SSH contributions, experts will first refer to the topic description to identify what the expected contributions are. With this in mind, they will evaluate the contributions from SSH in the proposal, according to the criteria.

Even if proposals do not belong to a topic 'flagged' for SSH contributions, they may contain contributions from the SSH disciplines and should be evaluated as with other relevant aspects of the proposal. While all questions in the survey were optional, completion of the questionnaire was a prerequisite for data storage, handling and analysis.

All non-completed questionnaires were thus strictly excluded from the results by design. The analyzed data were fully anonymized by the design of the questionnaire, the design of the web-based survey, and all consecutive data processing. By completing the survey —including an explicit approval by respondents—participants implicitly consented to the use of their data for the purpose of academic analysis and publication.

Throughout this paper, we have furthermore refrained from using direct quotations gained from open responses. In combination with the fact that we only present aggregated data for categories constituted by at least 13 research subjects, the authors guarantee the complete anonymization of the presented results.

The authors of this study are convinced that gender, as well as academic age and individual socialization, largely affect behavior within academia. We want to stress that the effects that these dimensions have on the organization and self-perception of academia still require analysis in a more comprehensive and comparative research design. Regrettably, the regulations for survey research involving staff of the University of Vienna do not allow including more precise demographic auxiliary variables regarding the exact positions held by the respondents in the analysis.

That is why we cannot present a comprehensive analysis of non-response bias in this study. Nevertheless the full results for this subsample have been published as a data report in Bayer et al. This report can be used as a source of detailed information for return rates for the discrete variables of this subsample and as a source for the estimation of non-response bias. So far no such data report has been published for the sub-sample of the University of Navarra.

We started our online survey with the topic searching and finding literature to identify possible indications of disciplinary differences within SSH research in the ways researchers are approaching the work of their peers and beyond. As WoS and Scopus are criticized for lacking coverage in SSH research fields and are considered to be of little importance for searching and finding new literature, we decided to empirically check these assumptions and trace whether WoS and Scopus are ascribed different importance across various research fields.

Consequently, we tried to explore how this relates to other available sources for searching and retrieving information. In both institutions, researchers across disciplines predominantly use web search engines as well as search engines and catalogs provided by libraries to search for literature. Nevertheless, it is interesting that a majority of researchers at both institutions also include strategies that are less related to disciplinary tradition or institutional policy in their routines for searching and finding literature—i.

Overall, approximately two-thirds of all respondents affirmed using Google Scholar GS when asked about their preferred multidisciplinary bibliographic database for searching literature.

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The use of multidisciplinary bibliographic databases for literature search and retrieval seems to be quite heterogeneous across disciplines and research fields, though. Scholars in the social sciences turn to GS, WoS and Scopus more often than researchers in the humanities and law in both institutions Figure 3.

In the second step, we focused on the publishing aspect. To achieve increased visibility of research outputs in the SSH, it is crucial to explore differences in publication behavior in and across SSH fields. These differences are reflected in choices throughout the publication process. The results in this study stem from self-reports and self-assessments by the responding SSH researchers and therefore have to be used with diligence. They are not to be taken as immediate expressions of actual publication behavior but rather as subjective valuations of the respective aspects of publishing and publication cultures within the respective institutions and disciplinary clusters.

However, these results do not express actual shares in publications. They simply show that for a vast majority of SSH scholars, with the exception of law scholars, publishing in English is perceived as important.

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Nevertheless, it needs to be pointed out that this reflects assumptions and perceptions that researchers have regarding their own research outputs. While we have reliable evidence on the circumstance that the national language is—for historical and pragmatic functional reasons—the prevailing language of academic exchange in law, the accounts that we observed in our sample, e.

Hence, we need to assume that researchers in the social sciences not only adapt their language of academic exchange according to the format of the publication but that when asked to report their most frequent language of publication, they seemingly privilege research outputs in academic journals. When reporting about how they choose between different scientific journals for publication, in about four fifths, both institutions refer to the topic of the manuscript as the most important criterion for decision-making.

More than a third of all respondents in each sample consider the dissemination practices of the publisher—e. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the agreement on relevant factors for choosing book publishers is relatively high among senior researchers of different disciplines as well as among researchers at the universities of Vienna and Navarra Figure 7.

Among respondents in both samples, publishing by invitation appears to be a frequent practice. Coauthorships are of importance in both institutions; two-thirds of the respondents in Vienna publish often or very often with others, and it is the same for almost half of the respondents at the University of Navarra. Reviewing activities are important to SSH researchers in both samples. After shedding light on relevant aspects of searching and finding literature and publication behavior, we surveyed experiences with existing strategies and policies for increasing the visibility of research outputs in the SSH.

Items revolved around awareness of institutional policies, self-marketing strategies and encounters with open access publishing activities. In both institutions, more than half of the responding SSH scholars maintain a personal website hosted by the university that includes information about their publication output.

From a disciplinary point of view, there are not many variations, except for the fact that self-marketing via Google Scholar Citations and ResearchGate seems slightly more common among social scientists and slightly less common among scholars in law at both institutions, while Academia. Comparing the results of both universities, we observe that responding SSH researchers at the University of Navarra are: 1 keener on providing standardized bibliographic data in English when publishing in other languages; 2 appear to be considerably more active in self-promoting their research on different web platforms; and 3 seem to have been more experienced with regard to open access activities.

Moreover, the awareness for respective policies is considerably higher at the University of Navarra: almost two-thirds of SSH researchers are aware of their institutions' initiatives 6 and recommendations University of Vienna. Similarly, almost four-fifths of the responding researchers at the University of Navarra are aware of their university's open access policy 7 , which is the case for only three-fifths of the respondents in Vienna. The final section of the survey provides an overview of the perspective of respondents from different SSH disciplines on different quantitative assessments of research outputs.

From a disciplinary perspective, approval is above average in the social sciences and below average in the humanities. The appraisal of views and downloads as appropriate indicators for the societal impact of research is similarly high. This means that half of the responding SSH researchers in Vienna and only a quarter of those at the University of Navarra think of them as less or not appropriate.

In addition, slightly more than half of the responding researchers in both samples express interest in the resonance of their research outputs in the form of discussions, likes, blogs, bookmarks and tweets. In both institutions, these results are above average in the social sciences. The expressed approval is difficult to assess, however, due to the large number of relativistic or negative open response elaborations. By far, the most frequent explanation was the impossibility of capturing and reflecting the quoted content and its context through citation analyses.

Most responding researchers refer to the problem of these methods being incapable of tracing why, how and for what reason the work of others has been referenced. In doing so, they discuss a great variety of factors that on the one hand could influence the number of citations but on the other hand do not necessarily reflect the quality of content and context, such as the research field or topic itself, different publication formats, the audience and writing styles.

In addition, many researchers have problematized the insufficient reliability of citation analyses. A number of reasons that citation counts are not reliable are mobilized: lacking coverage of important publication types, language biases, the relative number of citing authors depending on the respective research field, and the relatively long timespans until research outputs are actually recognized and received within the field.

All of these aspects are repeatedly used for disciplinary boundary work Gieryn, , stressing how these instruments are insufficient and not working properly for the responding researchers' own research field. A difference in the open responses of the two samples is that researchers in Vienna more often explain their disapproval with mainstreaming effects, arguing that rather absurd and hardly debated ideas tend to be cited more often.

Additionally, they believe that popular topics and research areas are favored by citation analyses, while marginalized research is disadvantaged. Throughout such developments, the increasing presence and importance of citation analyses is believed to also be, in part, responsible for mainstreaming processes. The majority of the respondents who consider citations to be appropriate or very appropriate for assessing the academic impact of research outputs, who also made use of the possibility of open responses, used them to relativize their approval.

Most of them stress how citation counts are only able to measure attention and resonance but are not to be considered as quality statements reflecting academic work in its context. Similar to the abovementioned explanations, researchers stress the insufficient reliability of instruments and engage in boundary work by problematizing language bias, aspects of time, mainstreaming effects and audiences.

Researchers at the University of Navarra more often stressed that citation analysis can always only be one indicator among many for assessing the academic impact of research outputs. With regard to searching and finding literature, our results show that SSH researchers in both institutions mostly use web search engines, search engines and electronic catalogs provided by libraries and full-text databases for literature search. Most of them turn to Google Scholar as the most important multidisciplinary bibliographic database.

The dominance of these search engines and the relatively little importance that is ascribed to WoS and Scopus could partly result from the fact that the former also include publications in more diverse formats. The importance of monographs and edited volumes for scholarly communication across a great variety of SSH research fields has been repeatedly addressed Thompson, ; Engels et al.

The dominant role of services provided by Google would also support this assumption.


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Google is not only the most widely used online search engine but is also directly connected to services such as Google Scholar, which is a multidisciplinary bibliographic database, and Google Books, which is a full-text database for books. In contrast, book formats are not represented to the same degree in either the Web of Science Core Collection or in Scopus Gorraiz et al. This is in line with researchers who addressed the lack of coverage as a systematic problem in the use of citation analyses to assess the academic impact of research outputs throughout the open responses.

In other words, our respondents show relatively high awareness of problems resulting from coverage, which has also been addressed in previous bibliometric literature on SSH publication patterns and consequences for assessment van Leeuwen, Observed disciplinary differences within SSH fields could be explained through this lack in representing relevant bodies of literature in the respective resources and databases as well.

As Prins et al. Knowledge of such substantial and fine-grained disciplinary publication patterns within specific institutional contexts is necessary to develop promising strategies for increasing the visibility of research outputs. The relatively important role of disciplinary bibliographic resources for researchers in Vienna and the importance that is ascribed to institutional repositories at the University of Navarra deserves closer consideration. While the first could result from disciplinary differences in the constitution of SSH research at both institutions, and as such, be the result of differences within the samples, the latter could result from institutional policies regarding repository use.

Nevertheless, as Hrachovec notes about an example of research in philosophy, we have to be aware of the intricacies that come along with increased opportunities for re presentation of research. Strategies for increasing visibility have to be developed and pursued in a careful manner because merely increasing the availability can also be misleading and cause confusion in the identification of research outputs among peer scholars instead of increasing their visibility. The ability to locate and identify relevant literature within a specific research field is considered key throughout academic education and is subject to rigorous disciplinary training.

Consequently, in-depth knowledge of disciplinary practices is an important precondition for further developing incentives and strategies for increasing the visibility of research outputs, which are then, in turn, also more likely to be perceived as valuable strategies by researchers within these fields. Our preliminary results suggest that more discipline- and context-specific attention is necessary for further understanding in this regard. With regard to disciplinary publication cultures, the observed differences in most frequent publication types deserve to be scrutinized in more detail.

On the one hand, one might expect that researchers would publish articles and contributions to books more frequently than they publish monographs based on the different amount of writing work required for their production. On the other hand, our results also highlight the importance of publishing journal articles, even though monographs and books are widely considered important and highly prestigious publication formats throughout many SSH disciplines and research fields. Such differences in the dominant publication types and the marginal coverage of certain publication formats in multidisciplinary citation databases are often discussed as one of the major problems for quantitative indicator-driven research assessment in SSH fields for an introductory discussion on the relationship of coverage and field-specific publication patterns in SSH, see Hammarfelt From a bibliometric perspective, this raises a number of aspects and problems that go beyond the problem of coverage.

Similar to the choice of language, these choices depend on the specific content and context of the research, as well as the scholarly and societal relevance of the object of research, as Felt et al. The importance of publishing in English resonates with this. Even though it is often claimed—especially in the context of research administration and evaluation—as a sign of internationalization processes in SSH research and respective scholarly communication, this has to be reflected in more detail with regard to content and context as well.

Existing scholarship suggests that many SSH research fields have specific and rather diverse audiences, which is reflected in field-specific publication patterns. In other words, choices come with benefits and disadvantages from different perspectives, which might render uniform incentives and strategies for increasing the visibility of research outputs problematic from a disciplinary point of view.

In this regard, our results suggest a need to develop more context-specific and disciplinary sensitivities. Overall, our results suggest that further investigation of different publication cultures and practices in the multiple SSH disciplines and research fields is necessary. Even though our samples do not allow for a rigorous comparison and differentiation over disciplinary borders, and especially not across different research fields, notable variations in dominant publication formats and in publishing in the respective national language vs.

English were observed. Likewise, publishing by invitation from peers or publishing houses as well as coauthorship practices and routines seem to differ according to disciplinary standards and across research fields. Following our results, the categorization of research as belonging to the field of the social sciences and humanities seems to be too broad and does not capture the multiple practices and their particularities.


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Additionally, the organization and institutionalization of research fields is specific and leads to different research and publication practices, as we can see in the differences observed between the universities of Vienna and Navarra. In our sample, SSH scholars at the University of Vienna focus on rather traditional and reputation-driven aspects when choosing academic journals for publication. Quite on the contrary, a clear majority of SSH scholars at the University of Navarra consider indexing in international databases and quantitative indicators as more important and relevant factors for their choice of publisher.

Such observed differences warrant careful attention and demand further quantitative and qualitative in-depth analysis to be properly accounted for. Promoting research outputs and increasing their visibility is considered increasingly important. This can probably be explained by the much smaller size of the University of Navarra, where the level of pervasion is much higher for staff-oriented educational and outreach programs. The restricted value of large multidisciplinary citation databases such as Web of Science and Scopus for the assessment of research in the SSH is a matter of common knowledge in the academic community Archambault et al.

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Google Scholar has merely been acknowledged as a valuable complementary data source for increasing visibility Harzing and Alakangas, ; Prins et al. With good reason, many researchers have reservations about Google in general. Nevertheless, maintaining a Google Scholar Citations profile is not very time-consuming and is a free and indisputably straightforward way to boost visibility. As our results clearly show, Google's services are among the most popular tools for searching and finding literature. Another way to circumvent the shortcomings of the previously mentioned multidisciplinary citation databases is a stronger reliance on CRISs, which are more inclusive and therefore more appropriate for capturing a complete record of SSH research outputs, as van Leeuwen et al.

Norway is a good example of how a CRIS can even evolve from a primarily institutional system to a national system that is used for the vast majority of evaluative practices at the national level. Hence, it would definitely be of interest and value to the academic community to extend our survey to Norwegian researchers to gather a deeper understanding of how shared infrastructures for the documentation and assessment of research outputs contribute to common identification of researchers on a national level.

In the Web 2. The extensive state-of-the-art review on the scholarly use of social media and altmetrics by Sugimoto et al. Only time will tell which of these will prove to be seminal for research dissemination and evaluation and which will turn out to be ephemeral fads. As evident from the survey results, the universities of Navarra and Vienna have embraced these new developments to different degrees. Regardless of actual uptake numbers, the opportunities Web 2. Finally, the discussion on open access practices within academic publishing is increasingly gaining momentum with a rising number of scientific institutions and funding agencies enforcing open access policies.

NORFACE and HERA present joint paper on value international networks for SSH

The availability of research outcomes that are free of charge to consumers is important for research in the SSH—as in any academic field—in terms of increased visibility. Nevertheless, open access policies are only effective if they are carefully worded, well communicated, and strictly monitored and if compliance is rewarded. The University of Navarra has extensively engaged in initiatives to highlight the importance of open access, increased visibility and awareness of quantitative, indicator-driven evaluation practices within recent years.

As a result, researchers from our University of Navarra sample indicate increased levels of awareness of institutional policies and relevant indicators within institutional and national research excellence exercises, such as indexing in multidisciplinary citation databases, open access publishing practices, etc.

Sparsely populated institutional repositories, on the other hand, are an obvious consequence of weak institutional green open access policies.

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Unfortunately, this system relies on APCs article processing charges for the larger part—a model that does not work very well with existing publication cultures in many SSH fields. As an exception to this rule of thumb, psychology or business and economics, in which publication cultures are focused more on outputs in international English language journals indexed in the major citation databases, could be mentioned here cf.

Thus, the immersive transformation of publication practices in the SSH will be a tricky and arduous process and needs to be monitored by dedicated research support services. This increased need for administrative support in research and publication practices has also been expressed by the respondents at the University of Vienna cf.

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Bayer et al. The different open access uptake rates at Vienna and Navarra might also directly reflect the effectiveness of these services and their influence on researchers' attitudes in numerous SSH contexts so far. With regard to assessment and valuation within institutionalized academic communities and contexts, our results show that the use of citation counts to assess the academic impact of research outputs is observed with criticism by many SSH researchers in both samples.

Even though a large number of researchers consider them to be appropriate for assessing the academic impact of research outputs, many problematize the flaws and insufficiencies of existing systems. Researchers discuss different limiting and reductive aspects of citation counts as indicators in research assessment. While researchers at the University of Navarra express more approval, many also used the possibility of open responses to relativize this position by stressing that citation counts are always only one of many aspects of the assessment of the academic impact of research outputs and contributions.

These results are particularly interesting in combination with results regarding the criteria for choosing publication formats and outlets and the promotion of research outputs. In all of these sections of our survey, researchers based at the University of Vienna cherish the aspects driven by reputation, while researchers at the University of Navarra seem to be more inclined to turn to indicators and metrics.

How much these differences result from the different constitutions of the SSH research fields within both institutions cannot be comprehensively clarified at this point. However, whenever observing the perception of research evaluation practices, we also need to consider the different sociopolitical and institutional contexts in which research in the SSH is embedded. Despite the relatively high degree of appraisal regarding quantitative indicators in research assessment in the sample from the University of Navarra, the adoption of citation counts and impact indicators in the evaluation practices for SSH in Spain is relatively recent.

This turn from more inner-disciplinary reputation-oriented forms of evaluation toward metric-based indicators results from the derivation of the evaluation practices that were already in place for the sciences and applied sciences. Although this has caused discomfort and turmoil among researchers in the SSH, a majority of scholars have started to incorporate metric-related considerations when developing publishing strategies to advance their professional careers as researchers in the SSH, as this has been shown to be the only productive option for doing so.

This strong institutionalization grants researchers a high degree of freedom within their own research field. At the University of Navarra, researchers might, in contrast, be more open and inclined to base decisions on policies, as these were more vigorously implemented by central university management. Hence, senior researchers at the University of Navarra tend to be equipped with a lower degree of freedom with regard to the definition and pursuit of research goals, which leads to a stronger affirmation of strategies—often delineated through abstract quantitative indicators—defined by the central management or at a suprainstitutional sociopolitical level.

In this context, it is also noteworthy that, in contrast to the University of Vienna, the University of Navarra is a relatively young non-state university and thus tends to be subject to more severe competition for basic funding, especially in the SSH. Moreover, SSH research at the University of Navarra cannot rely on international visibility and academic potential through the university's long-standing and well-established academic reputation, as is the case for the University of Vienna.

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Increased attention to quantitative indicators—as expressed through science policy goals—might thus be appealing as an appropriate choice for senior researchers at the University of Navarra instead. Our results also show that approval rates for using citation analyses as impact assessment proxies are highly dependent upon disciplines and research fields within the scientific community. Researchers have expressed many reservations and problems in regard to the suitability of existing instruments for their own field. As researchers engage in field-specific boundary work Gieryn, ; Klein, ; Friman, to problematize citation analyses, bibliometricians have to develop sensitivities toward field-specific aspects of publication practices and cultures rather than developing methodologies and standards for citation analyses that conceptualize SSH research as a homogeneous entity.

This implies that assessments that include bibliometric indicators need to take into account disciplinary traditions, quality standards and methodologies as well as context-specific factors such as the history of the research institution, the tradition and organization of research fields in the departments and faculties within the institution and the positioning of these within the field and scientific community in question. Our results are in line with those of others, stressing that the assessment of research outputs in the SSH has to move beyond the idea of two cultures of science.

Hence, the assessment also has to move beyond the SSH label to account for field-specific research practices in terms of theories and methodologies that come with context-specific traditions and standards of quality on the one hand and often publication patterns on the other Hammarfelt, , p. Three of the work groups look at specific aspects of SSH research evaluation, whilst a fourth is concerned with dissemination. The objective of this Working Group is to further our understanding of the SSH knowledge production processes and strategies, as a basis for developing evaluation procedures that adequately reflect the research practices, goals and aims of the SSH scholars.

The Working Group will tackle the dialectic issues of the potentials and drawbacks of a metric approaches and peer review; b international exchange and cooperation and the local rootedness of SSH; and c the need for interdisciplinary exchange and disciplinary expertise. The objective of this Working Group is to analyse the non-academic partnerships and environments of SSH research, in their diversity. Databases and uses of data for understanding SSH research.