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EERQI - European Educational Research Quality Indicators

A research project funded under the SSH (Social Sciences and Humanities) theme of the 7th Framework Programme

Duration: 01 April 2008 - 31 March 2011


The goals of the EERQI project are to reinforce and enhance the worldwide visibility and competitiveness of European educational research. More specifically, the project aims to
  • develop new indicators and methodologies to determine quality of educational research publications,
  • propose a prototype framework for establishing such indicators and methodologies,
  • make this framework operational on a multilingual basis (starting with English, German, French and Swedish),
  • produce a search and query engine for resource harvesting and text analysis,
  • test transferability of the EERQI indicators into other fields in social sciences and the humanities,
  • develop a sustainability plan for quality assessment of European educational research publications.
The project will improve the current standards of research quality indicators, especially for the field of Social Sciences and the Humanities.

What is at stake

Traditional methods of assessing research quality of scientific publications have depended heavily on ranking methods according to citation frequency and journal impact factors. Both are based on methodologies which do not reflect adequate coverage of European scientific publications. Hence, if European science or institutions are exposed to these evaluation methods, not only individual researchers, institutions are ignored, but also complete subject domains, and even language areas are disadvantaged, as they are not – or only sparsely – included in the traditional instruments. The initiators of the EERQI project, as well as numerous researchers and evaluation bodies within the European Union, recognize the need to remedy the inadequacies of this situation. The EERQI-project will provide a prototype framework for adjusting research quality indicators and methodologies to the European context. The prototype framework relies on research about how quality and relevance in research publications can be determined. This includes the use of new technological possibilities provided by natural language processing tools for content analysis and for text mining of digitally-available scientific documents. By carrying out contextual content analysis, the traditional merely quantitative indicators based on citation counts and ranking will be complemented by content-based quality indicators and might inform evaluation processes. The EERQI project brings together researchers in the field of educational research as pilot for such an endeavour. Educational research is in itself multi-disciplinary, as it covers the whole range of methodologies used in Social Sciences and Humanities.


The activities in the project are divided into two phases:
  1. In the first phase proof of concept specifications will be listed and built. Testing methods to the aggregated relevant documents are developed; the search and query engine is being evolved; the electronic content is being collected, converted and stored; an overview regarding the type and scope of meta data and full text formats available as well as of server requirements is being made, traditional indicators are revisited and new indicators are suggested.
  2. The second phase is the testing phase. New indicators and methodologies agreed upon in the first phase will be tested on a continuously expanding content base. Work on the search and query engine will be specified with integration of multi-lingual thesauri and refined to accommodate activities in the third phase, such as duplicating the process on a smaller scale and with a limited test bed within other exemplary fields of Social Sciences and Humanities. The activities will continuously be accompanied by the verification of indicators and methodologies by the scientific community. Representatives of national research funding agencies and other relevant stakeholders will be involved in this process. The results of the project will continuously be presented to the scientific community as well as to other relevant public, including policy makers on local, national and international levels.
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