Category: metrics

Book Review: The Surprisingly Imprecise History of Measurement

In this cross-post, Christie Aschwanden reviews James Vincent’s Beyond Measure, The Hidden History of Measurement, finding a book which highlights the social complexity and limits to measurement, whilst at the same time opening up new ways of kno…

Reforming research assessment in Spain requires greater university autonomy

Following the publication of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment under the auspices of the European Commission, countries across Europe are reconsidering their research assessment systems and policies and how they might align more closely to…

Book Review: A Handbook for Wellbeing Policy-Making by Paul Frijters and Christian Krekel

In A Handbook for Wellbeing Policy-Making, Paul Frijters and Christian Krekel offer a new guide to wellbeing-driven public policy, focusing on the proposal to replace GDP with wellbeing as the key metric to assess societal progress. With the book compr…

Bibliometrics at large – The role of metrics beyond academia

The role of bibliometrics, such as impact factors and h-indices, in shaping research has been well documented. However, what function do these measures have beyond the institutional contexts in which, for better or worse, they were designed? Commenting…

Rankings affect the financial sustainability of English universities, just not for the elite

University rankings are often presumed to be value neutral, creating equal opportunities for the institutions they order to compete around fixed indicators of quality. However, highlighting new collaborative research, Roxana Baltaru shows how universit…

Disambiguating Impact

Outside of specific institutional and organizational settings discussions about ‘impact’ often descend into confusion, as the term holds several meanings for researchers. Responding to a provocation from Ziyad Marar “On Measuring Social Science Impact”…

Policy citation databases offer new ways to understand the impact of social sciences research

Tracking the policy impact of academic research is notoriously difficult, especially when academics are not directly involved in policymaking processes. However, the recent development of tools to index and organise online policy documents has cast new…

Times Higher Education is expanding, but what is it becoming?

Since its origins as a newspaper supplement, the Times Higher Education (THE) has become so much more than a higher education news company. As its business model and commercial raison d’être changed, so has its rankings-related journalism. In thi…