RQ+ Research Quality Plus. A Holistic Approach to Evaluating Research

This report describes a holistic approach and assessment framework for evaluating 'research' that goes beyond the traditional deliberative means (e.g., peer review) and often used analytics (e.g., bibliometrics).

The approach underscores that scientific merit is a necessary but insufficient condition for judging research quality and acknowledges that determining the effectiveness of research (in terms of its relevance, use and impact) should not only involve researchers, research managers and funders but multiple stakeholders and potential users. Hence, the RQ+ Assessment Framework consists of three components:

(1) key influences (enabling or constraining factors) either within the research endeavor or in the external environment;

(2) research quality dimensions (integrity, legitimacy, importance, positioning for use) and subdimensions which are closely inter-related; and,

(3) customizable assessment rubrics (also called 'evaluative rubrics') that make use of both qualitative and quantitative measures.

The work was conducted with input from staff and support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada which primarily funds and facilitates global South-based research for development.

Monitoring the composition and evolution of the research networks of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB)

This Brief provides an example of how Social Network Analysis (SNA) can be used, in the context of agricultural research. The authors describe what SNA is, and how it was applied, step by step. They also present the findings of a particular network analysis, so readers can understand what types of information a SNA can generate, its pros and cons. In this example, SNA is used as a monitoring mechanism to study the evolution of a research network, and consequently, the evolution of the types of research being conducted.

For more information on how the SNA was used, and the results, please refer to the full report.