Evaluating research in an interdisciplinary area of study: The impact of bibliometric conversion on sports sciences in France

By Bastien Soulé, Raphaële Chatal

This article addresses the sensitive issue of research evaluation within an area of study (sports sciences) whose interdisciplinary nature brings together multiple scientific practices and cultures. By focusing on the question of the value given to the publication of articles in scientific journals, we aim to highlight the impact of two recent developments: the disappearance of sports sciences journals from France’s AERES (Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education) list of journals, combined with the priority now given to impact bibliometrics. A factual examination of the impacts this has had on the journals that up until 2017 were featured on this aforementioned list leads to an alarming finding: impact bibliometrics, whatever the preferred database, mistreat social science journals, especially non-anglophone ones. This same observation, which has long been noted within the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in various national contexts, has resulted in the establishment of very clear recommendations in many countries (including France, England, the Netherlands, Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Germany) designed to guarantee an assessment that is adapted to SSH disciplines and respects their specific characteristics. In this respect, the bibliometric shift made in French sports sciences goes against the strong trend that has been observed both nationally and internationally, and in so doing endangers the interdisciplinary nature of this area of study.

  • bibliometrics
  • evaluation
  • interdisciplinarity
  • research
  • sports sciences
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info