The principle of an NRF rating system for the humanities and social sciences: ameliorating "the judgment of Paris"

  • L Wright Rhodes University
  • S Murray Rhodes University


The National Research Foundation (NRF) is proposing to introduce a ratings system for the humanities and social sciences comparable to that which pertains in the natural sciences. The article welcomes this development, and argues for full and open consultation with the research community regarding appropriate ratings criteria. These should take a clear view of the social mission of the humanities and social sciences, and require that researchers demonstrate the public impact of their work. The article urges greater awareness of the necessity of building a national community of intellect, and more critical scrutiny of the purpose and impact of international recognition as a criterion of research performance in the social sciences and humanities.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol.16(2) 2002: 83-93

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eISSN: 1011-3487