The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy
Chapter 5: Evaluating competitive accountability
This chapter explores the perspectives of evaluators populating social science and arts and humanities REF disciplinary sub-panels and their experiences of judging the economic and societal impact of research. Their accounts reflect the multiple challenges presented by REF impact and concerns regarding the seductions of ‘stylistic virtuosity’ orchestrated by impact case study (ICS) authors and their neglect of any theorization of change, in addition to the bypassing by evaluators of the evidence provided by ICS authors in making judgements of impact excellence. The chapter suggests that, through competitive accountability, new modalities of scholarly distinction emerge.
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