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Mirek Dymitrow

Postdoctoral fellow

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The language of sustainable tourism as a proxy indicator of research quality

Author

  • Rene Brauer
  • Mirek Dymitrow

Summary, in English

Sustainable tourism (ST) has recently become the mainstream of the tourism industry and, accordingly, has influenced contemporary tourism research. However, ST is not just theories about indications and contraindications of global travel, but also a specific language that needs mastering to take sustainability work forward. In other words, what research receives recognition depends on the proficiency in how the articulation in research proposals and within assessment under the heading of “research impact”. The aim of this paper is to investigate how tourism research gains recognition within research evaluation, by investigating the national research appraisal in the United Kingdom (Research Excellence Framework). By using content analysis, we disentangle the rhetorical choices and narrative constructions within researchers’ impact claims. Our findings suggest that researchers adopt a rhetorical style that implies causality and promotes good outcomes facilitating ST. However, the structure of the assessment format enforces an articulation of sustainable research impact without stating the methodological limitations of that such claim. Therefore, the rhetorical choices of ST researchers merely represent a proxy indicator of the claimed impact. We conclude that the lack of rigor in accounting for the impact of ST research may inadvertently restrict attaining ST.

Department/s

  • Department of Human Geography

Publishing year

2021

Language

English

Publication/Series

Sustainability

Volume

13

Issue

1

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

MDPI AG

Topic

  • Human Geography

Keywords

  • sustainable tourism
  • language
  • assessment culture
  • research impact
  • rigor
  • research quality
  • proxy indicators

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 2071-1050