Published — 2017

Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences | Fédération des sciences humaines

Good practicesPosition papers  For:Professional societiesResearch institutes

The Federation released a report in 2017 to support the ongoing conversation in Canada about the assessment of research impact in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). It includes five recommendations to approach assessment:

  1. Define impacts broadly
  2. Use diverse and flexible sets of indicators, including qualitative and quantitative methods
  3. Researchers should play a leading role in describing the impacts of research work, in collaboration with research partners and users.
  4. Assess collective impacts
  5. Develop institutional supports to enable effective impact assessment

Finding that the impacts of HSS scholarship are highly diverse, the report defines impact as “the influence scholarly and creative inquiry has upon wider society, intended as well as unintended, immediate as well as protracted.” This diversity requires a flexible assessment approach. To help the community understand how the recommendations can be applied, case studies in the report show how they were used to address a range of assessment challenges.