Research Topic

The Role of Sociology in Evaluating the Impact of Scientific Production

About this Research Topic

The formal research funding system is critical in the promotion of scientific research. Today, and ever more so in the future, predicting and measuring the impact of scientific production, particularly in its social, economic and technological dimensions, is an increasingly crucial factor for success in the research funding system. One example of this is the European Commission’s proposal for a framework program for funding scientific research in the European Union in the near future – “Horizon Europe.”

In general, traditional scholarly impact no longer suffices for research funding applications. Dimensions such as economic, social and technological innovation are now central to the success of such applications. The evaluation of research needs to consider its impact at different levels, which has implications for success in obtaining grants and funds from public and non-public entities.

Assessing the (potential) impact of research is crucial. However, both researchers themselves as well as those who assess funding applications attribute limited value to the strategic importance of sociology and the other social sciences. Little appeal is made to insights from these disciplines, which are considered to operate on the periphery of scientific investigation in general. Furthermore, this state of affairs has a negative impact on the professionalism, application processes, autonomy and capacity of social science professionals.

Considering that sociology and the other social sciences could play a significant role both in assessing and enhancing the (ultimate and ongoing) impact of research projects, this Research Topic aims to contribute to a better understanding of this potential role, in order to help change this situation and increase the relevance ascribed to sociology and the other social sciences. These are, after all, essential to the heuristic apprehension of any reality, since this is necessarily also a social reality.

This Research Topic on the role of sociology in evaluating the impact of scientific production welcomes the submission of original manuscripts (articles, reviews, conceptual papers, perspective papers, etc.), whichever sociological paradigm and methodology they employ, concerning the specific and unique contribution of sociology and the other social sciences in evaluating scientific impact.

We invite manuscripts about, but not limited to:

• The representation of sociology and the other social sciences in research funding systems
• The relevance attributed to sociology and other social sciences by professionals and academics in evaluating the impact of scientific research
• The role of sociology in interdisciplinary research projects
• The relationship between sociology and the other sciences in scientific research funding applications
• The potential contribution of sociology and the social sciences in evaluating research impact
• Comparisons of the importance attributed to sociology and the other social sciences in several national and international framework funding research programs


Keywords: sociology, impact research, evaluating scientific impact, funding scientific research, interdisciplinary


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The formal research funding system is critical in the promotion of scientific research. Today, and ever more so in the future, predicting and measuring the impact of scientific production, particularly in its social, economic and technological dimensions, is an increasingly crucial factor for success in the research funding system. One example of this is the European Commission’s proposal for a framework program for funding scientific research in the European Union in the near future – “Horizon Europe.”

In general, traditional scholarly impact no longer suffices for research funding applications. Dimensions such as economic, social and technological innovation are now central to the success of such applications. The evaluation of research needs to consider its impact at different levels, which has implications for success in obtaining grants and funds from public and non-public entities.

Assessing the (potential) impact of research is crucial. However, both researchers themselves as well as those who assess funding applications attribute limited value to the strategic importance of sociology and the other social sciences. Little appeal is made to insights from these disciplines, which are considered to operate on the periphery of scientific investigation in general. Furthermore, this state of affairs has a negative impact on the professionalism, application processes, autonomy and capacity of social science professionals.

Considering that sociology and the other social sciences could play a significant role both in assessing and enhancing the (ultimate and ongoing) impact of research projects, this Research Topic aims to contribute to a better understanding of this potential role, in order to help change this situation and increase the relevance ascribed to sociology and the other social sciences. These are, after all, essential to the heuristic apprehension of any reality, since this is necessarily also a social reality.

This Research Topic on the role of sociology in evaluating the impact of scientific production welcomes the submission of original manuscripts (articles, reviews, conceptual papers, perspective papers, etc.), whichever sociological paradigm and methodology they employ, concerning the specific and unique contribution of sociology and the other social sciences in evaluating scientific impact.

We invite manuscripts about, but not limited to:

• The representation of sociology and the other social sciences in research funding systems
• The relevance attributed to sociology and other social sciences by professionals and academics in evaluating the impact of scientific research
• The role of sociology in interdisciplinary research projects
• The relationship between sociology and the other sciences in scientific research funding applications
• The potential contribution of sociology and the social sciences in evaluating research impact
• Comparisons of the importance attributed to sociology and the other social sciences in several national and international framework funding research programs


Keywords: sociology, impact research, evaluating scientific impact, funding scientific research, interdisciplinary


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 October 2020 Manuscript
15 December 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 October 2020 Manuscript
15 December 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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