Expertise vs expert evaluation: Conceptual basis of competencies

Popova, Natalia Gennadievna
PhD in Sociology, Senior Researcher Fellow, Sector for Theoretcal Linguistcs and Academic Communicaton, the Institute of Philosophy and Law at the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ambassador DOAJ for Russia, Vice-chairman of the Russian Council Advisory Board (Scopus), Ekaterinburg, Russia

Obolkina, Svetlana Viktorovna
PhD in Philosophy, Research Fellow, Educational Department of Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ekaterinburg, Russia

This report is devoted to the social institution of scientific expertise and its basic concepts – “expertise” and “expert evaluation”. The aim was to differentiate the cognitive needs and tasks involved in the practice of scientific evaluation. Two vectors of this practice, being opposite in their needs but complementing each other, were identified: (1) orientation towards formalization and methodological transparency; (2) the desire to preserve the intuitive component of the expert’s competence. In this respect, we analysed methodological intentions realised in automated evaluation systems, both in expert systems and expert system shells. Strengths of automated scientific output evaluation were shown, along with its weaknesses that reveal the fundamental problems and limitations faced by knowledge engineering. It is shown that (1) the ability of human knowledge to respond to non-trivial tasks is associated with a cognitive evaluation procedure; (2) expert evaluation is realised as a necessary expertise element related to intuitive knowledge. The potential of expert evaluation was revealed by analysing the specifics of the norm in its axiological sense. The essence of expert evaluation was investigated in the context of the marginality and liminality concepts. It is shown that the activity of liminal intentions involves a certain risk for the existence of the norm, at the same time as contributing to its renewal. It is concluded that it would be wrong to exclude the evaluation procedure from expert activity, primarily in relation to scientific knowledge. Expertise and expert evaluation are different but complementary competencies that should serve as the basis for selecting an expert evaluation strategy.

Keywords: expertise, expert evaluation, social institution of expert evaluation, science, liminality, norm, expert systems, knowledge engineering