22 SES 10 E JS, Digital Scholarship and Reputation
Joint Paper Session NW 12 and NW 22
The Conference theme of ECER 2016 stresses the contributions that educational research and researchers do to our societies. This paper is focused on the important role that library and information science may play to improve the visibility of these contributions, by developing Open Access tools for displaying and tracking the research outcomes and, particularly, its social impacts.
The pressure for the productivity of educational research as publications and scientific outcomes has increased and is well established in nowadays research activity. Moreover, the culture of Open Access is revolutionising the practices of research dissemination and discussion. Not only OA journals but also initiatives such as CORDIS or CRIS allow the scientific community, funding agencies and the whole society to find the records and main academic achievements of the researchers.
In addition to this pressure for academic productivity, a more recent but powerful trend claims for the accountability in terms of social impact, or in our case, concrete benefits to the educational practices and policies. This is clearly shown in the Reference Excellence Framework developed in UK , which establishes that a substantial part of the funding for the universities depend on the social impact demonstrated (in fact, in REF2014 a weighting of 20 per cent, and it is foreseen to be a 25 per cent of the funding). In many other countries and in the international arena, we observe that policy makers and the society are concerned with the use and the returns for the society of the investment that they have done to the researchers. However, the measurement and the storage of these other impacts are less developed. Importantly, Open Access has also a very big potential to change the relationship between science and society.
The EC FP7 project “IMPACT-EV, Evaluating the impact and outcomes of EU SSH research” (2014-2017) gives a very special attention to the social impact of research. The Work Package entitled “Identifying social impact of SSH research projects” has the main aim of analysing the social impact of SSH research and the factors that have contributed to obtain or not this impact, in order to create indicators to identify and evaluate the social impact of the SSH research ex-ante and ex-post.
In this context, the research team has developed the Social Impact Open Repository (SIOR) in which researchers from all the world and disciplines are displaying the social impacts of their researches. The repository is peer-reviewed and uses metrics to score these impacts. This new initiative has been already published in the leading journal Nature (Flecha, Soler & Sorder, 2015), showing its promising and challenging character.
Beyond gathering the evidences of impact, the SIOR is intended to contribute to the change of scientific research towards to the social improvement. Here, the feature of being Open Access is crucial, as it enables to promote open debate and reflection to the scientific community itself, but also to the society and policy makers.
Only one year after the launching of SIOR, part of the current developments are focused on improving the interoperability in other research information systems. This will allow the researchers to be interconnected to databases of researchers, publications or data, namely CRIS (current research information system) in which the European Commission is promoting the CV standard called CERIF of interconnection (91/337/EEC, 1991).
Flecha R., Soler M. & Sorde T. (2015). Metrics such as social improvement, transferability to diverse populations or social contexts, are also used to back research proposals. Nature 528 (193). doi:10.1038/528193d IMPACT-EV Consortium (2015). Report 1. State of the art in the scientific, policy and social impact of SSH research and its evaluation. Brussels: Directorate-General for Research & Innovation, European Commission. Retrieved from IMPACT-EV website http://impact-ev.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/D1.1-Report-1.-State-of-the-art-on-scientific-policy-and-social-impact-of-SSH-research-and-its-evaluation.pdf 91/337/EEC. Commission Recommendation of 6 May 1991 concerning the harmonization within the Community of research and technological development databases. Official Journal L 189 , 13/07/1991 P. 0001 - 0034. 6 May 1991 1 http://www.ref.ac.uk/ 2 http://cineca.github.io/dspace-cris/ 3 http://hub.hku.hk/ 4 http://escholarship.org/
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