Research Assessment


The Royal Irish Academy is an active participant in debates as to how best to capture the impact, quality and excellence of publicly funded research. The Academy has a particular interest in the development of key performance indicators for the humanities and social sciences and is working closely with the scholarly research community in these fields to provide leadership on the issue.


The appropriateness of key performance indicators to research in arts and humanities disciplines. Ireland’s contribution to the European Debate

KPI Report coverBuilding on its previous initiative in this field, the Academy in late 2010 invited its network of academic disciplinary committees in the Humanities and a number of invited experts in those disciplines which fall outside of its committee network, to identify performance measures that might be applied to research in arts and humanities disciplines. What appears in this latest report comes from scholars, researchers and practitioners and reflects their thinking concerning the range of research activities and type of performance which might reasonably be expected of those at the outset of a professional research and academic career in the relevant disciplines. This report offers a guide to current norms in relation to research outputs and activities, and the range and level of performance expected by the arts and humanities community itself of scholars who are still early career researchers. The report not only challenges the validity of extending a science model to arts and humanities disciplines, but also argues against the application of a single template for measuring research performance in all arts and humanities disciplines given the rich diversity of skills and research activities that are fostered within this very broad domain. Download report


Developing Key Performance Indicators for the Humanities

Published online: 2009
This report draws on the discussions at the 2009 RIA/IRCHSS workshop to outline a proposed model for the development of appropriate key performance indicators for humanities research in Ireland. It argues for the continued centrality of peer review and urges caution in the use of bibliometrics as a measure of quality or impact. Download report




RIA/IRCHSS Workshop: Key Performance Indicators for Humanities Research in Ireland

irchss logoIn March 2009, the Academy organised a one-day workshop, in conjunction with the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, to try to identify appropriate performance indicators to measure research endeavour, career advancement and achievements in Humanities disciplines in Irish universities. The keynote speaker was Dr. John Bryon, Director, Australian Academy of the Humanities, with presentations by Professor Jurgen Barkhoff (TCD) and Dr. Jennifer Edmond (The Long Room Hub, TCD).  Download programme




Evaluating Research Performance in Economics and Social Sciences: a workshop by the Academy Committee for Social Sciences

Published online: 2007
Evaluating Research Performance in Economics and Social SciencesThis report provides a summary of the proceedings of the Academy Committee for Social Sciences, the Irish Universities Association, the IRCHSS and the Academy of Social Sciences May 2007 workshop on current practices in research evaluation of the social sciences in Ireland. Download report

Join Our Mailing List

Please enter your email address below and click join to sign up to one of our mailing lists