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Assessing research, diluting outputs, confusing institutions and bedazzling disciplines

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-774
JournalProgress in human geography
Issue number6
Published1 Oct 2006

King's Authors


This Forum examines the research assessment systems (RASs) that affect professional human geography, and offers perspectives on the whole idea of formal research assessment. The Forum aims to assist professional geographers in their reflections on present and future research assessment in their own countries. It comprises two parts. The first offers highly succinct and detailed descriptions of the RASs currently in place in a range of countries – be they highly centralized, standardized and formal systems, or devolved and relatively informal ones. Many professional geographers know little about the assessment procedures outside their own countries and the first part allows a comparative understanding to be developed. The second part (‘Whither research assessment?’) offers reflections on the whole notion of research assessment beyond the ‘normal’ assessment offered by peer review of papers, books and chapters; considers whether actually existing systems of research assessment in one or more countries embody the values conducive to an ‘appropriate’ forms of research assessment; and it also considers the actual or probable impacts on the content and form of geographical knowledge of real or possible RASs.

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