New-style universities, shaped by the reforms to tertiary education, which have taken place in all Europe during the last decade, have set new targets for the academic humanities. These changes were initiated to overcome the humanists’ ivory-tower syndrome, counteract the parasitism of some researchers (who are state employees), and force humanities faculties to be better suited for effectiveness in the world. However, such reforms have also raised a widespread “litany of discontents”. The scientific community is increasingly critical of the “perpetuum mobiles of evaluations” and of the strategies used to allocate available research funds. However, in no other research area is the situation so dramatic as to threaten the very existence of traditional fields of study (i.e., palaeography, theoretical philosophy) as in the humanities. Against the background of the so-called ‘mass university’ and the consequent selective allocation of state research funds to universities, humanists express concerns about the link between funding and ‘performance’, where performance is misunderstood in terms of evaluating research only in regard to the name of the publisher, the number of citations, the influence of the journal, and whether a publication is international or national. Moreover, papers written by non-Anglophone scholars from institutions outside the Anglophone world have significantly less chance of being accepted. Other areas of concern involve the public sector’s funding orientation that only bigger projects have a great impact factor, undermining the support to individual initiative also in the humanities; the adjustment of the research topics to panelists’ classifications, selection based on the ability to deliver usable results quickly, and the closing of university programmes on the basis of the number of students and exams. These problems are just a few example of numerous complaints. This Special Issue of Humanities addresses this constellation of problems within the framework of and against the background of Academia Europaea’s mission, focus, and position, in view of the need to overcome complaints, explore new models and forms of research projects and communications, and to reassess and reinforce international standards of quality for the humanistic studies.

Research ‘Values’ in the Humanities: Funding Policies, Evaluation and Cultural Resources

FERRINI, Cinzia
2015

Abstract

New-style universities, shaped by the reforms to tertiary education, which have taken place in all Europe during the last decade, have set new targets for the academic humanities. These changes were initiated to overcome the humanists’ ivory-tower syndrome, counteract the parasitism of some researchers (who are state employees), and force humanities faculties to be better suited for effectiveness in the world. However, such reforms have also raised a widespread “litany of discontents”. The scientific community is increasingly critical of the “perpetuum mobiles of evaluations” and of the strategies used to allocate available research funds. However, in no other research area is the situation so dramatic as to threaten the very existence of traditional fields of study (i.e., palaeography, theoretical philosophy) as in the humanities. Against the background of the so-called ‘mass university’ and the consequent selective allocation of state research funds to universities, humanists express concerns about the link between funding and ‘performance’, where performance is misunderstood in terms of evaluating research only in regard to the name of the publisher, the number of citations, the influence of the journal, and whether a publication is international or national. Moreover, papers written by non-Anglophone scholars from institutions outside the Anglophone world have significantly less chance of being accepted. Other areas of concern involve the public sector’s funding orientation that only bigger projects have a great impact factor, undermining the support to individual initiative also in the humanities; the adjustment of the research topics to panelists’ classifications, selection based on the ability to deliver usable results quickly, and the closing of university programmes on the basis of the number of students and exams. These problems are just a few example of numerous complaints. This Special Issue of Humanities addresses this constellation of problems within the framework of and against the background of Academia Europaea’s mission, focus, and position, in view of the need to overcome complaints, explore new models and forms of research projects and communications, and to reassess and reinforce international standards of quality for the humanistic studies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2831149
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