Quality Assurance in the Humanities

How to assure the quality of research and teaching has been discussed intensively in the humanities over the last ten years. The debate was challenged by the proposal to transfer the quantitative methods of quality measurement well established in the natural and life sciences to disciplines in the humanities. However, this transfer is usually viewed critically for various reasons. It is pointed out, for example, that in the humanities monographs continue to play a central role in innovation and consolidation of knowledge, while journal articles in contrast play a more subordinate role. Therefore, the peer review process of journals can not have the same importance as in other fields. Measuring quality in the humanities is made more difficult by other characteristics of the disciplines involved, such as the tendency to dissolve disciplinary boundaries, an often non-existent consensus on goals and appropriate methods, and the widespread dissemination of legitimation discourses, which are also held in public. Despite these difficulties, however, there is a broad consensus in the humanities on the need to develop procedures for determining and ensuring quality. In our working group, we want to work out the state of discussion in order to arrive at our own position.

Summer semester 2019 and Winter semester 2019/2020
Head researcher(s): Georg Toepfer