Impact evaluation in Norway and in the UK: A comparative study, based on REF 2014 and Humeval 2015-2017

Marta Natalia M.N. Wroblewska

Research output: Working paper

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This study investigates the process of implementing research impact evaluation in Norway with a focus on the Evaluation of the Humanities in Norway (Humeval) carried out by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) in 2015 – 2017. The purpose of the study is 1) to analyse the submitted impact case studies with respect to their linguistic features and narrative structures and 2) to assess whether a change has taken place in academic discourse and academic practice as a result of this new evaluation exercise. The findings were compared to the results of a previous study carried out by the same author on the British REF 2014 exercise on which Humeval was modelled. The goal of this comparison was to point to the differences or peculiarities of both evaluative contexts and to suggest possible pathways of development in the Norwegian research impact culture.
The paper starts with a discussion of differences in the science system and in the appraoch to academic evaluation in the UK and Norway with a focus on the Humeval exercise. The empirical part draws on the analysis of two types of data: 1) impact case studies submitted to the exercise (31 documents from the Norwegian pool and 78 from the British one) and 2) interviews conducted with social actors involved in the exercise (10 in Norway and 25 in the UK). The focus is on the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the studied sample regards the case of the discipline of linguistics in particular.
The study suggests that the two studied countries are developing different approaches to impact evaluation as well as different forms of the genre of impact case study, despite apparantly adopting similar policy solutions (including the definition of impact and the case study template).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages67
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameENRESSH working paper
ISSN (Electronic)2666-0776

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