A framework of responsible research assessment for ranking the social science institutions in India

Document Type

Conference Article

Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Infrastructure of Social Science Research in India (Kolkata: Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, 2-3 March 2023)


Measuring research performance has been a crucial issue in the changing landscape of science and society. However, the complexity in publications and citation behavior characterized by a diverse set of publication types, communication channels, classification schemes, database coverages, and typical use of regional orientation with localized languages, has created formidable hurdles in the assessment of social sciences research. Invariably, the social science domain is quite different from science and technology fields in terms of conducting research and scholarly behavior. This work attempts to develop a ranking framework in order to assess the performance of social science research institutions by using a set of performance indicators and scientometric tools. It also addresses some important issues in measuring the research performance of social science institutes in an Indian context. However, the appropriate use of indicators as an important principle of responsible research assessment (RRA) has been considered for research integrity in terms of scope, accuracy, and truthfulness. For this purpose, the publication datasets concerning individual institutions of social sciences under the aegis of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) are extracted from Scopus (a global database of publication records) covering a period from 2017 to 2022. Eventually, all the entries were validated through annual reports of the institutions and thereby analyzed with a set of performance indicators using scientometric tools and techniques. Realizing the nature of publications produced by the ICSSR-sponsored institutions, typically a set of performance indicators has been framed. The work considered some parameters to quantify the research performance of the institutes in placing them into perspective and more rationally. It also entails the ranking procedure followed by the reputed ranking systems (viz. NIRF, QS, and THE) to describe the salient practices of quantitative appraisals as a ready reference. This work also focuses on adhering to certain principles of Responsible Research Assessment (RRA) by integrating research practices like transparency in data collection, sharing of data, replication, and making use of appropriate indicators in fulfilling the objective assessment of research institutions. So this study devised an improved framework of research evaluation for strengthening the ranking procedure of social science institutions using more responsible metrics. The framework is deemed to be validated through relevant studies and this work may be considered an agenda of further research in the foreseeable future.

First Page


Last Page


Publication Date



Open Access

This document is currently not available here.