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Evaluation research is the discipline which deals with the theory, methods, and carrying out of evaluations.
Its core are methodological issues concerning the application and applicability of the different methods of empirical research for different puroposes in the context of evaluation.
Taking into account the generality of this concept, its does not really tell very much. A key difference to general methodological disciplines like that of empirical social research or operations research, which provide a large part of the methods applied in evaluation research, is the central role of normative criteria and normative assessments. The former disciplines are analytical and do not deal with normative statements. (Hornung)