Quality assessment in the design & engineering disciplines

This report proposes criteria and indicators for assessing the quality of research output in the design and engineering disciplines.

Scientists in design and engineering regularly encounter problems in the assessment of the quality of their research output, whether that assessment takes place within the context of an external evaluation, an academic appointment or promotion, or an application for funding. The quality indicators used in such situations are borrowed from the more basic sciences (publications in ISI journals, impact factors, citations, the Hirsch Index) and are, in the eyes of these scientists, inadequate.

First of all, they argue, their output consists not only of peer-reviewed international publications, but also of conference proceedings, designs and works of engineering.
Secondly, they point to the fact that their research is generally more context-specific and multidisciplinary than that carried out in the more basic sciences. Design and engineering journals therefore have a lower impact factor and are consistently given a lower rating.

Activities and plans

The report was published on 19 November 2010.