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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Defining and Measuring Research Quality in a Transdisciplinary Context

1st December 2015, 17:30 to 18:30, Birley Room, Hatfield College, Professor Brian Belcher, Royal Roads University, Canada

Research increasingly seeks to both generate knowledge and to contribute to real-world solutions, with strong emphasis on context and social engagement. As boundaries between disciplines are crossed, and as research engages more with stakeholders in complex systems, traditional academic definitions and criteria of research quality are no longer sufficient - there is a need for a parallel evolution of principles and criteria to define and evaluate research quality in a transdisciplinary research (TDR) context. We conducted a systematic review to help answer the question: What are appropriate principles and criteria for defining and assessing TDR quality? Articles were selected and reviewed seeking information on: arguments for or against expanding definitions of research quality; purposes for research quality evaluation; proposed principles of research quality; proposed criteria for research quality assessment; proposed indicators and measures of research quality; proposed processes for evaluating TDR. We used the information from the review and our own experience in two research organizations that use TDR approaches, to develop a prototype framework for evaluating TDR. The presentation will provide an overview of the relevant literature and summarize the main aspects of TDR quality identified there. Four main principles emerge: relevance, including social significance and applicability; credibility, including criteria of integration and reflexivity, added to traditional criteria of scientific rigour; legitimacy, including criteria of inclusion and fair representation of stakeholder interests, and; effectiveness, with criteria that assess actual or potential contributions to problem-solving and social change.

This lecture is free and open to all.

Details about Professor Brian Belcher

Directions to Birley Room, Hatfield College

Map - Hatfield College is denoted as building No. 20

Contact for more information about this event.