The evaluation of research in the humanities by the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency

This article describes the practical aspects of the evaluation undertaken by the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya, AQU Catalunya) of candidate university lecturers in humanities whose academic profile needs to be accredited. The article describes the features of the accreditation process in general and the evaluation of humanities research in particular, which is more complex than it is with other types of research because of certain aspects: for example, the fact that the evaluations are indirect and use the quality indicators of scientific journals that publish such research, which conditions the accreditation process in important ways. In consideration of the recent methodological contributions to evaluating research made by the Leiden Manifesto and the San Francisco Declaration, the article concludes that evaluators need to avoid exclusively quantitative approaches to their assessment of humanities research, which should be respectful of this research community, and that further debate is needed on the best approaches to the task at hand.