Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More on research in the UK (and, by extension, Taiwan)

Chris Bertram at Crooked Timber cites an article by Jonathan Wolff about "the distorting effects" of the funding of humanities research on the research itself. The original article, from the Guardian, is here and the Crooked Timber discussion is here.

One paragraph from Wolff's article that I think is quotable concerns how the AHRC (the Arts and Humanities Research Board), which gives out the grants and evaluates the research results,
wants to reassure itself that it is funding work of the highest international standards. How can you demonstrate this? Not easily. Citation rates rely on quickfire take-up of ideas in the peer-reviewed literature; fine in the sciences but poor in the humanities, where response time is more measured. And anyway, published citation rates ignore mentions in monographs and book chapters, which remain central to the humanities.
This reminds me of the situation in the humanities in Taiwan.

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