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European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH): aims, procedures and impact for research in Europe Dr Nina Kancewicz-Hoffman Senior Science Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH): aims, procedures and impact for research in Europe Dr Nina Kancewicz-Hoffman Senior Science Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH): aims, procedures and impact for research in Europe Dr Nina Kancewicz-Hoffman Senior Science Officer - Humanities and Social Sciences Unit 25 September 2013

2 2 Specific publication culture in the Humanities Significant part of research output, in terms of numbers and importance, in national languages Variety of formats for research output: monographs, chapters, edited volumes, journals, conference proceedings, critical editions, web-based content and data, outreach/grey literature Monographs - primary importance; publications in peer reviewed journals of lesser importance in many disciplines

3 3 Challenges for Humanities What tools to use to provide access to humanities research and to compare quality: across all languages at supra-national (European) and global (world-wide) levels vis- à -vis other research domains, especially hard sciences Existing citation indices (e.g. SCOPUS, Web of Science, Publish or Perish) have unsatisfactory coverage of humanities research, especially in languages other than English (= in other European languages)

4 4 European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH): objectives to enhance the global visibility of high- quality European research in the humanities across all languages to encourage best practice in the publication of journals (peer review, active editorial board, openness to new authors, professional bibliographic information),and later books, in the humanities To create a benchmarking tool for comparisons at aggregate (national, European) levels

5 5 ERIH: process Overall responsibility with the ESF Standing Committee for the Humanities (SCH) SCH nominates ERIH Steering Committee ERIH Steering Committee responsible for: –Identification of the disciplinary structure –Definition of methodology including the definition of categories –Approval of membership of Expert Panels –Validation of journal lists proposed by Expert Panels Peer review - the basis of methodology Phase 1: focus on journals; phase 2: including other publication formats

6 6 ERIH: disciplinary structure Anthropology Archaeology Art and Art History Classical Studies Gender Studies History History & Philosophy of Science Linguistics Literature Musicology Oriental & African Studies Pedagogical & Educational Research Philosophy Psychology Religious Studies and Theology Disciplines under consideration Archives, Library & Museum Studies Film, Media & Cultural Studies Area Studies 15 disciplinary Panels:

7 7 ERIH: criteria for inclusion All journals included have to meet threshold standards ensuring consistently high-quality scholarly content: Quality control policy governing selection of articles, normally through peer-review Active operations of editorial board Openness to unsolicited contributions Publication on time and to an agreed schedule ISSN number and other bibliographic requirements

8 8 ERIH: categories (1) National Journals – NAT (formerly category C): European publications with a recognised scholarly significance among researchers in the respective research domains in a particular (mostly linguistically circumscribed) readership group in Europe; occasionally cited outside the publishing country, though their main target group is the domestic academic community International Journals – INT1 + INT 2 (formerly categories A and B): both European and non- European publications with an internationally recognised scholarly significance among researchers in the respective research domains, and which are regularly cited worldwide

9 9 ERIH: categories (2) Differentiation between categories INT1 and INT2 is based on a combination of two criteria: influence and scope: Category INT1 international publications with high visibility and influence among researchers in the various research domains in different countries, regularly cited all over the world. Category INT2 international publications with significant visibility and influence in the various research domains in different countries.

10 ERIH: a pilot project ( ) Focus on journals 2007/ publication of 14 initial lists 2010/ publication of 12 revised lists Not revised: Archeology Religious Studies and Theology 10 ESF SCH message ERIH lists are not a bibliometric tool: they should not be used for assessment

11 11 ERIH Initial Lists : reactions (1) Criticism from research communities: national, disciplinary (e.g. German historians; philosophers of science; Gaelic studies community in Ireland) regarding categorisation and missing journals; ERIH response: 1.revising categorisation 2.including more journals 3.including newly established journals (category W - Waiting)

12 12 ERIH Initial Lists: reactions (2) Research funders: expect urgently needed evaluation tools/indicators in humanities corresponding to tools/indicators used in hard sciences - ERIH lists are already used in some countries for this purpose against intentions of ESF SCH – ERIH response: ERIH lists are not a bibliometric tool and should not be used for evaluation

13 ERIH: a pilot project ( ) Outcomes of the pilot phase: The first step toward a bibliographic tool: ERIH provides information on thousands of Europan journals enhancing their visibility Identification of quality NATional journals - the main innovation of ERIH Expansion of Web of Science and SCOPUS with many journals in the humanities from ERIH; however many inconsistences in the coverage can be observed partly due to inconsistences and gaps in ERIH lists 13

14 ERIH: a pilot project ( ) Impact of the pilot phase: Substantial contribution to debates on research evaluation in the humanities, e.g.: Impact assessment Use of bibliometrics Changing publication cultures in the humanities: open access; more journal publishing Improved editorial standards in journal publishing in the humanities throughout Europe 14

15 ERIH: challenges How to represent at an international level the high-quality work published in nationally-based journals; ERIH did it by using categories and this led to misunderstanding - ERIH lists are not a bibliometric tool: they should not be used for assessment How to represent expertise in sub- disciplines within panels which cover very large and divers fields – History, Literature, Linguistics How to ensure sufficient linguistic coverage in panels 15


17 17 Towards a Bibliometric Database for the Social Sciences and Humanities: A European Scoping Project Report funded by funding councils: ESRC/AHRC (UK), ANR (F), DFG (DE), NWO (NL); published March 2010 Project leader: Prof. Ben Martin, SPRU, University of Sussex, UK Recommendations of the report: create a bibliometric database for the Humanities and Social Sciences; integrate national and institutional documentation systems

18 18 Beyond the pilot project Representatives of 26 ESF Member Organisations, majority of which funded ERIH, meet on 31 March 2010 to discuss the future of ERIH Working group created and given a task to prepare a report outlining the future of ERIH Members: Gunnar Siversten (Norway, Chair), Istvan Kenesei (Hungary), Nigel Vincent (UK), Sir Roderick Floud (Chair of SCSS), Milena Žic Fuchs (Chair of SCH)

19 19 Report of the Working Group Towards comprehensive bibliographic coverage of the scholarly literatures in the humanities and social sciences September 2010 distributed to ESF Member Organisations

20 20 Conclusions of the Working Group Tools for searching and accessing the research literature are an important part of the research infrastructure in the humanities and social sciences as they are in other research domains. The working group is concerned that the primary bibliographic information systems are insufficient in the humanities and social sciences.

21 21 Recommendations of the Working Group To develop a pan-European research infrastructure for bibliographic data in SSH covering both the national and the international literatures in both books and journals. To start from linking the existing national bibliographic data bases based on common standards To include social sciences This RI can also be seen as the basis for possible bibliometric developments

22 22 ERIH lists – the future ERIH lists are a resource for such RI; they should be preserved and maintained by a professional bibliographic service ESF is working with Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) on transferring the maintenance of ERIH lists to NSD ERIH lists would be operated in parallel with the Norwegian register of scientific journals and publishers

23 23 ERIH lists – the future Editors and publishers will be able to correct and update information on their journals ERIH list will be open to new submissions based on rules of the Norwegian register of scientific journals and publishers No categories will be attributed to journals

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