SSH & the City. From measuring societal impact to mapping social engagement

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Oral presentation at the Open Evaluation Conference in Vienna, november, 2016

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SSH & the City. From measuring societal impact to mapping social engagement

  1. 1. SSH & The City From measuring societal impact to mapping social engagement Open Evaluation 2016 |Vienna November, 25
  2. 2. Rationale • Increasing demand on the return on investment of research • Extended mispractices on the use of bibliometric indicators • Limitations on indicators for certain fields • Scientific excellence (or whatever that is) is no longer sufficient • Need for identifying research societally relevant • There is a universalistic notion of impact.
  3. 3. Rationale • Increasing demand on the return on investment of research • Extended mispractices on the use of bibliometric indicators • Limitations on indicators for certain fields • Scientific excellence (or whatever that is) is no longer sufficient • Need for identifying research societally relevant • There is a universalistic notion of impact.
  4. 4. Rationale Evaluation schemes address… 1. Natural & Exact Sciences 2. Global Communities – “INTERNATIONALIZATION” 3. Scientific Impact
  5. 5. Rationale Evaluation schemes neglect… 1. Social Sciences & Humanities 2. Local Communities 3. Societal Impact – Except socioeconomic and with limitations
  6. 6. Rationale • Social capital of researchers reflects their potential of social engagement • Social media as a proxy for tracing social interactions of researchers with non-academics
  7. 7. Neglected spaces in research evaluation 1.The university-city synergy 2.SSH and their audiences 3.Capturing societal impact
  8. 8. University-city synergy • Most literature from innovation studies University- industry relation Triple Helix Regional innovation systems Localized Knowledge Spillovers Creative industries Emergence and development of industry Again socioeconomic perspective Includes SSH Urban planning Concept of anchor institutions Bidirectional synergies Ad hoc methodologies
  9. 9. University-city synergy • Most literature from innovation studies University- industry relation Triple Helix Regional innovation systems Localized Knowledge Spillovers Creative industries Emergence and development of industry Again socioeconomic perspective Includes SSH Urban planning Concept of anchor institutions Bidirectional synergies Ad hoc methodologies
  10. 10. University- industry relation Triple Helix Regional innovation systems Localized Knowledge Spillovers Creative industries Emergence and development of industry Again socioeconomic perspective Includes SSH Urban planning Concept of anchor institutions Bidirectional synergies Ad hoc methodologies University-city synergy • Most literature from innovation studies Partial and problematic indicators to assess non-socioeconomic impact at the local level
  11. 11. SSH and their audiences • Publication and citation patterns do not adapt to bibliometric standards • Blurred lines between societal and scientific contributions • More influenced by local developments than other fields
  12. 12. SSH and their audiences 1. Global scientific communities Standardised and controlled communication patterns 2. Local experts Either scholars or non-academic experts 3.The general public Heterogeneous group and communication outlets Nederhof, 2006
  13. 13. Capturing societal impact Knowledge growth Publication outlets Research networks Scientific/Scholarly impact Cultural Social Socioeconomic and technological Societal Impact
  14. 14. Capturing societal impact Knowledge growth Publication outlets Research networks Scientific/Scholarly impact IMPACT Papers, books, reports, cases… Workshops, co- authorship… OUTPUT Increase and organise stock of knowedge Build and convene networks ACTIVITY
  15. 15. Cultural Social Socioeconomic and technological Societal Impact IMPACT Archives, museums, events, performances… Patents, spin offs… OUTPUT Build and convene networks, supply of human capital Support entrepreneuralism ACTIVITY Problem solving Policy changes, environmental benefits… Capturing societal impact
  16. 16. Capturing societal impact • Societal impact is a complex and multidimensional concept Not just one type of societal impact • Societal impact does not follow a linear model Same factors and actors do not always lead to same impacts • The attribution model does not apply There is no direct link between research outcome and societal impact
  17. 17. From societal impact to social engagement “The introduction of knowledge about the process into assessment procedures will also help us to understand how (potential) social impact is being achieved.” Spaapen & Drooge, 2011 Researchers’ context as a proxy of engagement potential Social networks of scientists as proxy for social outreach
  18. 18. From societal impact to social engagement SCIENTISTS SOCIETY Productive interactions Spaapen & Drooge, 2011
  19. 19. From societal impact to social engagement COLLECTIVE A COLLECTIVE B COLLECTIVE C Knowledge Value Alliances Rogers & Bozeman, 2001
  20. 20. From societal impact to social engagement SOCIETAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT MAPPING Process Linear Networked Level of analysis Individual Group Reach of impact Emphasis on global impact Global + local impacts Interactions Economic and institutional ‘Hidden’ informal interactions Type of impact Mainly socioeconomic + technological Also social and cultural
  21. 21. The potential of social media • Indicators are based on traces of activity • Each data source captures different spheres of outreach • Altmetrics fail as they adapt the citation model to social media
  22. 22. (Based on Twitter) Social spheres of interest of researchers
  23. 23. (Based on Twitter) Social spheres of interest of researchers
  24. 24. Global Local (Based on Twitter) Social spheres of interest of researchers Geographical distance
  25. 25. (Based on Twitter) Global Local Social spheres of interest of researchers Geographical distance
  26. 26. Global Local (Based on Twitter) Public sector NGO Unknown Academia Private sector Politicians Social spheres of interest of researchers Institutional affiliation
  27. 27. Limitations • Where does social engagement take place? Finding the appropriate traces • There are many data restrictions and limitations using social media Characterising users Levels of aggregation
  28. 28. Next steps • Different sources for identifying traces of social activity of researchers • Understand relation with research profile of researchers • Analyses at the department/centre level Different roles played by different actors
  29. 29. Discussion • Turning from ‘performative’ assessment to ‘strategic’ assessment Usefulness as a policy tool? • Mapping as a first step/complement to qualitative approaches Indicators vs.Visualisations • Before assessing impact we should learn which impact we should expect Profiles and roles of researchers
  30. 30. Authors: Nicolás Robinson-Garcia1, Thed N. van Leeuwen2 and Ismael Rafols1,3 elrobin@ingenio.upv.es leeuwen@cwts.leidenuniv.nl i.rafols@ingenio.upv.es 1INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), Spain 2CWTS, Leiden University, The Netherlands 3SPRU, Sussex University, United Kingdom SSH & The City From measuring societal impact to mapping social engagement

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