"Independent research?" by Morten Jakobsen, Tuomas Korhonen and Teemu Laine

Lars Bo Henriksen's (2019) recent paper raises an important question about whether our research is independent if we are encouraged to apply for external funding. In our editorial (Jakobsen et al., 2019), we wish to further spark this discussion with a variety of shades of independence. In this blog post we encourage you to contribute to this discussion, by summarizing our editorial.

In his paper, New rules of research? – Report from the post-modern university. Lars Bo Henriksen (2019) describes two cases that clearly indicate that independent research is under pressure, perhaps even gone, under the regimes of corporate universities. For sure, this is interesting reading, that deserves attention. But perhaps more than reading is required. Obviously, the values of the Humboltian university are under pressure. But can we as researchers adapt to the change in university management in order to preserve the fundamental values of independent research?

We think that Henriksen’s (2019) paper opens a very, very interesting debate, that perhaps has numerous tones to it. Hence, we think it is not automatically a case of Humboldtian good, post-Humboldtian bad.

We claim that importantly, all projects – Humboldtian or post-Humboldtian – can succeed or fail in delivering results that we as researchers, the university, and the ministers of research can be proud of. Henriksen’s (2019) paper is an important reminder that researchers, university managers and funders alike need to be aware of what the integrity of research means.

Please let us know what you think. And if you wish to publish your thought here, please contact Tuomas for posting blog post replies.



Henriksen, L.B. (2019). New rules of research? – Report from the post-modern university. Proceedings of Pragmatic Constructivism.

Jakobsen, M., Korhonen, T., & Laine, T. (2019). Editorial: Independent research – reality or illusion? Proceedings of Pragmatic Constructivism.