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The arts and humanities have largely stayed on the margins of this debate.  In fact, when the United Kingdom decided to scrap its hugely influential and much maligned Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in favor of a metrics-based system, a special expert group had to be convened to determine how the arts and humanities would be treated.  This group came up with a very long list of possible forms of research output that could be measured (although the report did not always define or specify how one might capture these measurements) and determined that a basket of these measures, including a “peer review lite” approach, could be chosen closer in time to the first round of the new assessment exercise in 2013.  This report was largely an admission of failure in the face of a task for which the system had no easy or accessible tools.

This is not to say that there have not been attempts to develop frameworks to enable a more systematic quality assessment of research outputs in the arts and humanities.  The European Science Foundation funded the development of a project called the European Reference Index for the Humanities.  The ERIH was intended to provide a relatively uncomplicated impact mark for the journal in which an article was published on a discipline-by-discipline basis.  In spite of the project leaders’ insistence that the A, B, and C rankings given to journals were intended to indicate their degree of internationalization and profile, not quality (whatever that is), the use of the simple letter grading became a source of great controversy and discontent with the project.  The real threat this index posed to smaller publishers and national journals, which were very appropriate places for certain kinds of research to appear, resulted in the project being largely abandoned after its initial development funding ran out.

But even if ERIH had been embraced by the community, what then?  It didn’t include the publishers, so had no capacity to aid in the evaluation of monographs, chapters, editions, or articles in edited collections.  It was a misleading, unauthoritative tool, and although the scholarly community reviled the project, there were still enough cases seen of research councils and institutions attempting to use it that these bodies’ desire for some easy way of making even an initial judgment of quality or impact was clearly perceived. 

This extended anecdote is intended to illustrate an environment that holds both opportunities and threats for the development of scholarly communications in Europe.  Institutional autonomy is low, and the pressure to contribute to the system in certain particular ways is very real.  “Is it RAE-able” was the question that always used to be asked about potential project outputs in the UK, and it is doubtful that the question will change much under the new system; only the terminology used to describe acceptability to the higher powers will shift.  On the other side, however, the existence of national systems with gatekeepers who are unsure how to evaluate scholarship most effectively also means that these gatekeepers may also be willing to work with their community to define reasonable metrics and approaches to assessment.  If the traditional analog scholarly communications formats are to be transcended, then success will be guaranteed only if this transcendence can be translated into terms comparable with those applied to the known scholarly output forms.  There have been calls for years for the creation of “kite markers” and other ways of recognizing the scholarly contribution made by non-traditional output forms.  Certainly in Europe, one has the sense that if the scholarly community took the lead in establishing norms and measures for best practice where these norms don't already exist, then their lead would be both appreciated and followed.

Questions & Answers

What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Online humanities scholarship: the shape of things to come. OpenStax CNX. May 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11199/1.1
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