Interdisciplinarity in Research Evaluation

Katri Huutoniemi, Ismael Rafols
The evaluation of interdisciplinary research is complicated by ambiguity about what interdisciplinarity is and what it should be. The question is topical, as evaluation plays an important role in how science is being shaped and changed today. The chapter performs a meta-analysis of the concept of interdisciplinarity in research evaluation, and gives an epistemic account of what would be involved in such evaluations. First, we discuss the various ways interdisciplinarity can add value to the disciplinary organization of academia and their respective implications for research evaluation. Second, we provide tools for mapping and measuring these value-added properties and illustrate what kind of evidence they can convey to research evaluations. The combined examination of values and indicators allows us to gain a more differentiated understanding of what exactly to look at when evaluating interdisciplinary research – and more generally, how to design research evaluations from an interdisciplinary point of view.