Externally funded project

Development and Testing of a Concept for Documentation and Evaluation of Productive Interactions and Impacts on Practice and Society in Agricultural Research (Praxis Impact II)


Currently, established research evaluation procedures are largely based on peer review publications, citation based indicators and third-party funds. However, the focus on the "scientific impact" only partially captures to what extent research contributes to solving societal or ecological problems. An increasing number of scientists and initiatives point out the responsibility of (public funded) science to contribute appropriate solutions for problems like global warming, food safety and loss of ecosystem services – and research evaluations should set incentives to do so. This project aims to contribute to the implementation of complementary assessment of activities and impact of research regarding the needs of practice and society.

Concepts for an evaluation beyond scientific impact do already exist for inter- and transdisciplinary research, applied agricultural research and broader/social/societal impact assessments and are partly used by funding agencies. They include criteria for productive interactions between research and society, which make an impact probable, as well as the impact on practice and society itself. Nevertheless, broader use of the existing concepts is hampered by the lack of reliable, easy to use data.

The main task of the project is the further development and testing of a documentation and evaluation concept for agricultural research. The concept will be broad enough to include all productive interactions and impacts of different types of agricultural research and can be used for the evaluation of scientists, institutions, projects and programmes. This requires a structured, standardized documentation in a database-system that enables to filter, aggregate and analyse data in different ways.

In order not to increase the effort necessary for scientists to document their projects, the developed documentation system will be connected to general documentation procedures in proposals and reports for research funding – but also include project independent research.

The project develops and tests the structured documentation system and an assessment framework. This includes three perspectives: Scientists responsible for documentation, funding agencies and evaluation experts. Furthermore, the project engages in the development of applicable and accepted pathways to implement such evaluation in alignment with agricultural research and other relevant stakeholders and experts.

Last updated on 2018-01-02 at 10:16

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