About this Research Topic
The past two decades have seen a trend towards the adoption of New Public Management (NPM) practices in academia and higher education. For instance, research output and institutions are increasingly marketized on social media platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn, quantitative indicators such as h-index and impact factor have been widely adopted for measuring research performance, and senior researchers are nowadays often primarily occupied with management tasks and hence have scarce capacities to contribute to actual research. Accordingly, fostering and exhibiting “management skills” is increasingly expected from academic researchers. While advocators of NPM argue that the adoption of such practices in academia could foster competition among individuals and institutions and ultimately results in more and better research output, critical voices have raised concerns that it could lead to a gamification of academia: researchers primarily aim at optimizing scores, such as h-index and the amount of acquired third-party funding, instead of pursuing ambitious but risky and hence potentially unsuccessful research projects.
In this Research Topic, we welcome articles from all scientific disciplines (natural sciences, social sciences, political sciences, human sciences, life sciences, philosophy, the arts, etc.), which critically engage with the prospects and dangers of NPM practices in academia and higher education. Any original research on these topics as well as a negative or positive opinion and perspective articles are welcome, and we encourage submissions of both empirical and theoretical works. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, investigations into the following phenomena and trends in academia:
● Predominance of fixed-term contracts among early career researchers.
● What is managerialism in higher education? How should it be properly defined?
● Growing importance of quantitative indicators to evaluate research performance.
● Growing importance of acquiring third-party funding.
● Branding and marketization of research output and research institutions on Twitter, LinkedIn, academia.edu, ResearchGate, etc.
● Importance of networking and self-marketing.
● How, if at all, can higher education benefit from research management?
● Managerialism and the university: What place, if any, is there for managerialism at universities?
● How does research management influence research topics and agendas?
● Encroachment of neoliberalism onto higher education.
● Publish or perish: Pressure of publicly available publication profiles.
Keywords: Managerialism, Neoliberalism, Marketization, Publish or Perish, Methodology, Science Studies, Commodification, Education, Higher Education, Universities
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.