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Measuring research output in fields of social sciences and humanities requires particular attention to the specificities of the field, but also to national and cultural contexts. This paper presents an approach adopted in a project constructing an instrument for measuring research output in communication sciences in Switzerland in collaboration with the scientific community. The concept of profiles, allowing combination of output in different dimensions, is central and proved to be fruitful for the discussion of the instrument and its acceptance in the field. Opportunities, challenges and limitations as well as the way in which they were approached and/or overcome are addressed and further steps to be taken are discussed.