Quality Indicators and Educational Research publications: which publications count ?
n°46, juin-juillet 2009
Gaussel, Marie, REY, Olivier
For several months, part of the debate about universities has been focused on the question of evaluating scientific activities and particularly on assessing the work of researchers according what they have published. Classifications of journals, bibliometrics, citation indexes, ranking, quality indicators: the controversy, which is both national and international, hinges on notions that are often poorly understood in social sciences and humanities research.
The heart of the controversy is mainly to be found in the idea that one can use quantitative measurements made on publications to assess scientific output activity through statistics on academic publications. While academics tend to be attached to peer review methods, evaluation using figures always fascinates decision-makers and laymen anxious to have references that are simple to understand and handle.
In this issue we would like to consider the subject within the framework of university evaluation, but also to define a number of detailed benchmarks concerning research in education, to help clear up the issues involved in the debate. The reader will find a summary of sources essential for understanding the arguments used, together with recent bibliographical references for further reading.