Is impact a measure of quality? Producing quality research and producing quality indicators of research in Australia

Year: 2005

Author: Yates, Lyn

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Neither impact nor peer review nor addressing national research priorities, are unproblematically appropriate criteria for quality assessment in the field of education, but each is a player in current debates about quality research, and each is indicative of some competing agendas that thread through current quality research re-assessments in Australia. This paper discusses some conflicting agendas and trajectories within recent Australian research policy and funding mechanisms for education, as well as the broader context of the status of education research and how this impacts on debates and strategies with regard to quality. It is argued that the education research community do need to develop appropriate quality indicators in the field of education, but to do this effectively requires attention also to the contextual pragmatics and politics of how such assessments will be enacted; and it is also important that the current focus on measures of quality assessment be re-coupled with more attention to contexts of production of education research and the issue of how quality research can be developed.