The Terms of Reference of each Commission and Working Group have been analyzed to see which of their Terms is related to research. It should also be realized that the Commission and Working Group chair had the opportunity to indicate which of their terms of reference is research related. The interpretation of the meaning of research will no doubt vary among the chairs. Its outcome is also qualitative, it does not tell us about the amount of research. Publications of the Commission and Working Groups could quantify the result a bit more.
Figure 2. The ICA Commissions and their terms of reference. The research related terms have been highlighted. There is a qualitative and quantitative difference among the Commissions and their Terms of Reference and of what is considered research.
Figure 3. The ICA Working Groups and their terms of reference. The research related terms have been highlighted. There is a qualitative and quantitative difference among the Working Groups and their Terms of Reference and of what is considered research.
The result of his exercise is depicted in the schemes in Figures 2 and 3. It will be obvious that the result depends on different factors. Most important is the overall objective of the Commission or Working Group. Not all of them have been established to do research. Since the Terms of Reference are redefined every four years a Commission or Working Group might have decided for a period that concentrates on more pragmatic topics. The background ofthe chairpersons and changing composition of the Commissions/ Working Group will also influence its focus. Just as the research topics defined in the previous section represent a snapshot in time so do the schemes in Figures 3 and 4.
Figure 4. Focus on the agenda’s individual research topics. The horizontal bars represent the percentage of Commissions and Working Groups ‘interested’ in that particular topic based on the data received from the on-line survey.
An on-line survey has been held among the chairs of the Commissions and Working Groups to see which of their Terms of Reference are research related (Figures 2 and 3). In addition they were asked to indicate which of the topics in the research agenda (Figure 1) had the interest of their Commission or Working Group. This is depicted in the diagrams in Figure 4. It depicts a qualitative interest, and does not tell us anything about the amount of activities related to a particular topic. Also not all Commissions and Working Groups have executed the online survey. Eighteen out 22 of the Commissions and one out of six Working Groups returned the questionnaire. Figure 5 summarizes the relationship between the research topics and the Commissions and Working Groups in a slightly different way and allows us to see common interest between the Commissions and Working Groups that responded to the online survey. This could act as a guide for the chairs to see with whom to cooperate more intensively.
Figure 5. The relationship between the ICA research agenda’s individual research topics and the Commissions and Working Groups. It shows common interests and gaps in the execution of the agenda. The diagram could be a guideline for chairs to find partners in tackling particular research problems. It shows that some have a limited interest while others have a very broad research scope. Commissions and Working Groups without links did not respond to the on-line survey.