Category: metrics

A missed opportunity? How the UK’s teaching excellence framework fails to capture the voice of university staff

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (aka Teaching Excellence Framework, TEF), aims to represent and evaluate the quality of teaching within UK higher education institutions. Whilst the stated aims and ability of the TEF to achieve this have often been questioned, less is known about how higher education institutions have implemented the new framework. … Continued

Staying with the Trouble: Designing a values-enacted academy

Academic assessment is predisposed towards measurement and subsequently valuing what can be measured. In this post, Cara Cilano, Sonja Fritzsche, Bill Hart-Davidson and Christopher P. Long, describe the Cultivating Pathways of Intellectual Leadership” (CPIL) framework developed in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University and how it can help to stimulate a … Continued

The Senior Management Survey: auditing the toxic university

Higher education in the UK has been defined by a succession of assessment frameworks; National Student Survey, Teaching, Research Excellence and Knowledge Exchange Frameworks. Turning the quantitative focus of these exercises onto the management of universities, Mark Erickson, Paul Hanna and Carl Walker present the findings of a survey of staff perceptions of senior management … Continued

CRediT Check – Should we welcome tools to differentiate the contributions made to academic papers?

Elsevier is the latest in a lengthening list of publishers to announce their adoption for 1,200 journals of the CASRAI Contributor Role Taxonomy (CRediT). Authors of papers in these journals will be required to define their contributions in relation to a predefined taxonomy of 14 roles. In this post, Elizabeth Gadd weighs the pros and … Continued

Book Review: Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy by Richard Watermeyer

In Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy, Richard Watermeyer critically explores the increasing quantification of academic life and the rise of the marketised competitive university. This book particularly succeeds in not only exploring the futility and counterproductiveness of quantified academic performance metrics, but also revealing how complicity among some academics allows … Continued

2019 In Review: Metrics and research assessment

As governments increasingly look to national research systems as important inputs into the ‘knowledge economy’, developing ways to assess and understand their performance has become focus for policy and critique. This post brings together some of the top posts on research metrics and assessment that appeared on the LSE Impact Blog in 2019. Working to the rule – How bibliometric […]

Working to the rule – How bibliometric targets distorted Italian research

As Goodhart’s law states: ‘when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure’. Using bibliometrics to measure and assess researchers has become increasingly common, but does implementing these policies therefore devalue the metrics they are based on? In this post Alberto Baccini, Giuseppe De Nicolao and Eugenio Petrovich, present evidence from a study of Italian researchers […]

Is our current research culture on the brink of major change?

The culture of research often appears timeless and self-evident. Despite the current system of research being critiqued for its lack of openness, diversity and at times quality, it has remained largely unchanged for at least a generation. In this post, Liz Allen, highlights how contrary to this view, a growing number of developments are currently taking place across different countries […]

Is who you know as important as what you know? Mapping the invisible colleges supporting academic prestige

A core principle of modern research culture according to the sociologist Robert Merton was ‘universalism’, the idea that the validity of ideas was independent of the status of the person making them. However, as a number of recent studies have shown in practice academia can also be exclusionary. In this post, Margath Walker shows how academic networks – invisible colleges […]

The Accident of Accessibility: How the data of the Teaching Excellence Framework creates neoliberal subjects

The stated aim of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is to encourage excellence in teaching in higher education and to provide information for students to make improved decisions about the courses they take at university. In this post, Liz Morrish argues that contrary to these goals, the TEF is only marginally interested in teaching quality and instead contributes to the […]