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Evaluate the methodology for state farm s research

This is particularly true for agricultural research, since agriculture is at the nexus evaluate the methodology for state farm s research numerous sustainable development goals. Yet, generally accepted methods for linking research outcomes to sustainability impacts are missing. We conducted a review of scientific literature to analyse how impacts of agricultural research were assessed and what types of impacts were covered. A total of 171 papers published between 2008 and 2016 were reviewed.

Our analytical framework covered three categories: Only one paper considered all three sustainability dimensions. We found a majority of papers assessing research impacts at the level of technologies, particularly for economic impacts. There was a tendency of preferring quantitative methods for economic impacts, and qualitative methods for social impacts. Efforts have to be made to close this gap and to develop integrated research assessment approaches, such as those available for policy impact assessments.

Introduction Research has multiple impacts on society. In the light of the international discourse on grand societal challenges and sustainable development, the debate is reinforced about the role of research on economic growth, societal well-being, and environmental integrity 1.

Research impact assessment RIA is a key instrument to exploring this role 2. A number of countries have begun using RIA to base decisions for allocation of funding on it, and to justify the value of investments in research to taxpayers 3.

The so-called scientometric assessments with a focus on bibliometric and exploitable results such as patents are the main basis for current RIA practices 4—6. Those approaches do not explicitly acknowledge the contribution of research to solving societal challenges, although they are sufficient to measure scientific excellence 8 or academic impact.

RIA may however represent a vital element for designing socially responsible research processes with orientation towards responsibility for a sustainable development 910. In the past, RIAs occurred to focus on output indicators and on links between science and productivity while hardly exploring the wider societal impacts of science 11.

RIA should entail the consideration of intended and non-intended, positive and negative, and long- and short-term impacts of research 12. Indeed, there has been a broadening of impact assessments to include, for example, cultural and social returns to society 13. RIA is conceptually and methodologically not yet sufficiently equipped to capture wider societal implications, though 14.

This is due to the specific challenges associated with RIA, including inter alia unknown time lags between research processes and their impacts 15—17. Independent from their orientation, RIAs are likely to influence research policies for years to come 18.

Research on RIA and its potential to cover wider societal impacts has examined assessment methods and approaches in specific fields of research, and in specific research organizations.

The European Science Foundation 19 and Guthrie et al. They discuss generic methods e. Methods need to fit the objectives of the assessment and the characteristics of the disciplines examined. No approach is generally favourable over another, while challenges exist in understanding which impact areas are relevant in what contexts. They argue that there is a need for RIA approaches based on types of impact rather than research discipline.

They point to the need for tools and systems to assist in RIAs and highlight different types of information needed along the output-outcome-impact-chain to provide for a comprehensive assessment.

In the field of public health research, a minority of RIAs exhibit a wider scope on impacts, and these studies highlight the relevance of case studies 24. Evaluation practices in environment-related research organizations tend to focus on research uptake and management processes, but partially show a broader scope and longer-term outcomes. Establishing attribution of environmental research to different types of impacts was identified to be a key challenge 25.

Other authors tested impact frameworks or impact patterns in disciplinary public research organizations. For example, Gaunand et al. Besides, for the case of agricultural research, no systematic review of RIA methods exists in the academic literature that would allow for an overview of available approaches covering different impact areas of research. Against this background, the objective of this study was to review in how far RIAs of agricultural research capture wider societal implications.

We understand agricultural research as being a prime example for the consideration of wider research impacts. This is because agriculture is a sector which has direct and severe implications for a range of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

It has a strong practice orientation and is just beginning to develop a common understanding of innovation processes 27. It was based on three categories to explore the impact areas that were addressed and the design of RIA. In particular, the analytical framework consisted of: On the side, we additionally explored the time dimension of RIA, i.

Analytical framework for the review of non-scientometric impact assessment literature of agricultural research. View large Download slide Analytical framework for the review of non-scientometric impact assessment literature of agricultural research.

Agricultural research and the ramifications following from that refer to different levels evaluate the methodology for state farm s research assessment or levels of evaluation, 29. We defined six assessment levels that can be the subject of a RIA: The assessment level was clearly stated in all of the analysed papers and in no case more than one assessment level was addressed.

Articles were assigned to the policy level, if a certain public technology policy 30 or science policy, implemented by governments to directly or indirectly affect the conduct of science, was considered. Exemplary topics are research funding, transfer of research results to application, or contribution to economic development.

Research evaluate the methodology for state farm s research were understood as instruments that are adopted by government departments, or other organizational entities to implement research policies and fund research activities in a specific research field e.

Articles dealing with the organizational level assess the impact of research activities of a specific research organization. The term research organization comprises public or private research institutes, associations, networks, or partnerships e. A research project is the level at which research is actually carried out, e.

The assessment of a research project would consider the impacts of the whole project, from planning through implementation to evaluation instead of focusing on a specific project output, like a certain agricultural innovation.

The technology level was considered to be complementary to the other assessment levels of research and comprises studies with a strong focus on specific agricultural machinery or other agricultural innovation such as new crops or crop rotations, fertilizer applications, pest control, or tillage practices, irrespective of the agricultural system e.

The guidelines entail a list of 7 environmental impacts, such as natural resource use, climate change, or aspects of nature conservation; 12 social impacts, such as employment and working conditions, security, education, or aspects of equity; and 10 economic impacts, including business competitiveness, increased trade, and several macroeconomic aspects.

In addition, we opened a separate category for those articles exploring joint impacts on the three sustainability dimensions. Few articles addressed impacts in two sustainability dimensions which we assigned to the dominating impact area. To categorize the type of RIA method, we distinguished between conceptual, qualitative, and quantitative. Conceptual analyses include the development of frameworks or concepts for measuring impacts of agricultural research e.

Qualitative and quantitative methods were identified by the use of qualitative data or quantitative data, respectively cf. Qualitative data can be scaled nominally or ordinally. It is generated by interviews, questionnaires, surveys or choice experiments to gauge stakeholder attitudes to new technologies, their willingness to pay, and their preference for adoption measures. The generation of quantitative data involves a numeric measurement in a standardized way.

Such data are on a metric scale and are often used for modelling. The used categorization is rather simple. We assigned approaches which employed mixed-method approaches according to their dominant method.

Evaluate the methodology for state farm s research

We preferred this over more sophisticated typologies to achieve a high level of abstraction and because the focus of our analysis was on impact areas rather than methods. However, to show consistencies with existing typologies of impact assessment methods 1937we provide an overview of the categorization chosen and give examples of the most relevant types of methods. To additionally explore the approach of the assessment 38the dimensions ex ante and ex post were identified.

The two approaches are complementary: The studies in our sample that employed an ex ante approach to RIA usually made this explicit, while in the majority of ex post impact assessments, this was indicated rather implicitly. The motivation for restricting the analysis to articles from ISI-listed journals was to stay within the boundaries of internationally accepted scientific quality management and worldwide access.

We selected the years of 2008 to mid-2016 for the analysis numbers last updated on2June 2016. First, because most performance-based funding systems have been introduced since 2000, allowing sufficient time for the RIA approaches to evolve and literature to be published.

Secondly, in 2008 two key publications on RIA of agricultural research triggered the topic: We took these publications as a starting point for the literature search. The search query 1 filtered for agricultural research in relation to research impact.

Together they consisted of 315 papers. Of these, we reviewed 282 after excluding all document types other than articles and reviews 19 papers were not peer-reviewed journal articles and all papers not written in English language 14 papers. After going through them, 171 proved to be topic-relevant and were included in the analysis.

Results The application of the analytical framework allowed for the classification of the 171 reviewed articles regarding the assessment level of the research, the impact areas considered, and the type of method applied. These results are structured in a quantitative matrix Table 1.

Analysis matrix showing the number of reviewed articles, each categorized to an assessment level and an impact area social, economic, environmental, or all three sustainability. Additionally, the type of analytical method conceptual, quantitative, and qualitative is itemized Assessment level.