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Why an Unbiased External R&D Evaluation System is Important for the Progress of Social Sciences—the Case of a Small Social Science Community


  • Franc Mali

    () (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Kardeljeva pl. 5, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia)


This article deals with the impact of external R&D evaluations as one of the institutional factors that can encourage (or discourage) the progress of the social sciences. A critical overview is presented of the increasing use of bibliometric indicators in the external R&D evaluation procedures employed by the Slovenian Research Agency, which is the leading research council for financing the public sector of social sciences in Slovenia. We attempt to establish that, in order to ensure a good external R&D evaluation practice for a small social science community, it is insufficient to only have reliable bibliometric meta-databases. It is argued that it is equally important to formulate very precise criteria to ascertain their validity.

Suggested Citation

  • Franc Mali, 2013. "Why an Unbiased External R&D Evaluation System is Important for the Progress of Social Sciences—the Case of a Small Social Science Community," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-14, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:2:y:2013:i:4:p:284-297:d:31000

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Torres-Salinas, Daniel & Moed, Henk F., 2009. "Library Catalog Analysis as a tool in studies of social sciences and humanities: An exploratory study of published book titles in Economics," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 9-26.
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    3. Hess, David, 2007. "Social Reporting and New Governance Regulation: The Prospects of Achieving Corporate Accountability Through Transparency," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 453-476, July.
    4. Rémi Barré, 2010. "Towards socially robust S&T indicators: indicators as debatable devices, enabling collective learning," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 227-231, September.
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    6. Erik Ernø-Kjølhede & Finn Hansson, 2011. "Measuring research performance during a changing relationship between science and society," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 131-143, June.
    7. Ulrich Schmoch & Torben Schubert & Dorothea Jansen & Richard Heidler & Regina von Görtz, 2010. "How to use indicators to measure scientific performance: a balanced approach," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 2-18, March.
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    9. David Pontille & Didier Torny, 2010. "The controversial policies of journal ratings: evaluating social sciences and humanities," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 347-360, December.
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    12. Benedetto Lepori & Carole Probst, 2009. "Using curricula vitae for mapping scientific fields: a small-scale experience for Swiss communication sciences," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 125-134, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Romina Rodela, 2016. "On the use of databases about research performance: comments on Karlovčec and Mladenić (2015) and others using the SICRIS database," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(3), pages 2151-2157, December.

    More about this item


    social sciences; external R&D evaluation; bibliometry; publication productivity; third-party funding; scientific impact;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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