On June 21 and 22, the DARIAH-EU Working Group “Impact Factors and Success Criteria” organized a workshop at the Humboldt University in Berlin entitled “Measuring Change in Digital Humanities: Workshop on Impact Factors and Success Criteria”.
It was a brilliantly organized workshop; attendees were all interesting academics and professionals working on different forms of impact (even though most of them in the context of the SSH and digital cultural heritage). Thanks to the traveling grant received from the DARIAH WG Funding scheme for 2017, 10 speakers could be invited. The workshop was well received with more than 35 attendees from Germany and other European countries.
The focus of the workshop verged on the impact of Social Sciences and Humanities research (SSH) on the research landscape, as well as on society. Thanks to the contributions of the speakers, the topic was tackled from very different perspectives and many concrete examples were given.
The keynote was important as it introduced the concept of impact: Leonie van Drooge (Rathenau Instituut, Netherlands) focused on the impact of research infrastructures and stressed on the importance of identifying the stakeholders and their needs: her main message was in fact “impact is in the eyes of the beholders”.
The morning continued with a panel session hosting three representatives of Research infrastructures: Francesca Morselli (DARIAH-EU) who presented the collaborative framework and impact of the DARIAH working groups; Frank Uiterwaal introduced the infrastructure project PARTHENOS and its impact on the humanities research (as it aims to close the gaps between the too often siloed methodologies within the humanities disciplines); finally Steven Krauwer gave a good overview of the impact research infrastructures such as CLARIN can have on the scientific landscape and research results. He stressed the fact that we need to think more about societal impact and the influence RIs have in increasing it for SSH&CH.
The second half of the first day focused on existing tool and frameworks to measure impact for SSH research. This session was introduced by David Budtz Pedersen from Aalborg University, who argued the need for a responsible impact measurement: in his view impact can be measured in every day’s work practice.
Klaus Thoden from the DARIAH-EU working group on impact and success introduced the Impactomatrix, a tool (which offers a matrix of evaluation measures) that the researcher can apply to her/ his own research in order to identify and reach the right type of impact. Understanding impact areas will help to increase the visibility and transparency of research in DH and beyond, communicate the research’s benefits to potential researchers and funding agencies and strengthen the influence of digital research in DH. Julia Fallon from Europeana talked about her experience in developing with the community the impact playbook for the cultural heritage sector. Birge Wolf (Universität Kassel) and Stefan Lossow (Disy Informationssysteme GmbH) introduced the SynSICRIS tool that supports the measurement and assessment of social benefits of applied research.
The next day, in the second panel chaired by Esther de Smet (Ghent University), three speakers talked about different areas where the Humanities and Social Sciences can have an impact: Trilce Navarrete (Erasmus University Rotterdam) presented how cultural heritage and the participation of society can create economic impact and how; Jane Tinklers (Nine Dots Prize) spoke about the impact of SSH research on policy-making and introduced the Nine Dots Prize (a competition for unpublished research in the Social Science); Jens Bley (HafenCity University) focused on the ongoing digital transformation of the city of Hamburg and its impact on its citizens.
In the last session of the workshop, Helen Small (University of Oxford) introduced the case-study approach to measuring research impact. It was followed by a discussion led by Maxi Kindling (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Dirk Wintergrün (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science) with the goal to collect the main outcomes of the workshop and bring them together in a documentation for future reference.
The same message, presented at the same day, however differently formulated: “A research infrastructure is like an elephant. Actors have different perspectives. Impacts relate to these perspectives” #DARIAHimpact18 #ACCELERATE2020 https://t.co/HkLgmR7lee pic.twitter.com/8INssthspI
— Leonie van Drooge (@LeonievanDrooge) June 25, 2018
The presentations and documentation of the workshop are available on Zenodo.
Thanks to the efforts and contribution of Ulrike Wuttke (Parthenos), who recorded the keynote and all the sessions’ introductory talks, we will be able to share the recordings in the near future.
This blog post is provided by Francesca Morselli (DARIAH-EU / DANS) and Juliane Stiller (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).