Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:

login

Log in through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Journal Article

What Is Originality in the Humanities and the Social Sciences?

Joshua Guetzkow, Michèle Lamont and Grégoire Mallard
American Sociological Review
Vol. 69, No. 2 (Apr., 2004), pp. 190-212
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3593084
Page Count: 23
Were these topics helpful?
See something inaccurate? Let us know!

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

Cancel
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($14.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
What Is Originality in the Humanities and the Social Sciences?
Preview not available

Abstract

Drawing on interviews with peer-review panelists from five multidisciplinary fellowship competitions, this paper analyzes one of the main criteria used to evaluate scholarship in the humanities and the social sciences: originality. Whereas the literature in the sociology of science focuses on the natural sciences and defines originality as the production of new findings and new theories, we show that in the context of fellowship competitions, peer reviewers in the social sciences and humanities define originality much more broadly: as using a new approach, theory, method, or data; studying a new topic; doing research in an understudied area; or producing new findings. Whereas the literature has not considered disciplinary variation in the definition of originality, we identified significant differences. Humanists and historians clearly privilege originality in approach, and humanists also emphasize originality in the data used. Social scientists most often mention originality in method, but they also appreciate a more diverse range of types of originality. Whereas the literature tends to equate originality with substantive innovation and to consider the personal attributes of the researcher as irrelevant to the evaluation process, we show that panelists often view the originality of a proposal as an indication of the researcher's moral character, especially of his/her authenticity and integrity. These contributions constitute a new approach to the study of peer review and originality that focuses on the meaning of criteria of evaluation and their distribution across clusters of disciplines.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[190]
    [190]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
191
    191
  • Thumbnail: Page 
192
    192
  • Thumbnail: Page 
193
    193
  • Thumbnail: Page 
194
    194
  • Thumbnail: Page 
195
    195
  • Thumbnail: Page 
196
    196
  • Thumbnail: Page 
197
    197
  • Thumbnail: Page 
198
    198
  • Thumbnail: Page 
199
    199
  • Thumbnail: Page 
200
    200
  • Thumbnail: Page 
201
    201
  • Thumbnail: Page 
202
    202
  • Thumbnail: Page 
203
    203
  • Thumbnail: Page 
204
    204
  • Thumbnail: Page 
205
    205
  • Thumbnail: Page 
206
    206
  • Thumbnail: Page 
207
    207
  • Thumbnail: Page 
208
    208
  • Thumbnail: Page 
209
    209
  • Thumbnail: Page 
210
    210
  • Thumbnail: Page 
211
    211
  • Thumbnail: Page 
212
    212