What should impact assessment look like for social science? Lessons learned from a decade of DORA

A decade ago, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, or DORA, tackled the pressing need to improve how funders, institutions, policy makers and others evaluated scientific research and its outputs. Existing measures, centered on scholarly citation, tended to use where the outputs were published as a proxy for the research’s quality, utility, and impact, measuring all disciplines with the same yardstick.

In the 10 years since, various efforts to improve assessment and measure societal impact have launched that downplay or even eliminate literature-based measurements. Ideas for these new measures focus on impact in the real world, address disciplinary differences such as those between social science and physical science, and offer useful tools for researchers and end-users alike.

This panel will engage representatives from social and behavioral science to discuss:

  • What does impact assessment look like from their perch?
  • What should it look like?
  • How have their perspectives on impact changed over the last decade?
  • What changes would they like to see 10 years from now?
  • What necessary next steps should be taken – whether immediately practical or aspirational?

Speakers: Katie Corker (Grand Valley State University), Anna Harvey (SSRC), Anthony Michel (SSHRC), Cassidy Sugimoto (Georgia Institute of Technology)

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