Category: research assessment

Do we need all the components of the Research Excellence Framework?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is underpinned by three areas of assessment: outputs, impact and environment. However, discussing the findings of their recent research Mehmet Pinar and Tim Horne argue that these elements correlate to the extent…

Citation counts reinforce the influence of highly cited papers and nudge us towards undervaluing those with fewer.  

In the context of everyday research assessment citation counts are often taken as a simple indicator of the influence of any particular paper. However, all citations are not the same and can be deployed to achieve different ends. Commenting on a recent…

2021 In Review: Measuring and Assessing Research

The second of this year’s annual reviews focuses on research assessment. Looking into the the quantitative and qualitative measures that govern and shape research, impact and the management of higher education institutions, this list brings toget…

Multilingualism is integral to accessibility and should be part of European research assessment reform

Developing research systems that promote diverse, multilingual and relevant research for different audiences is a key and often overlooked element in making research accessible. However, biases in traditional research assessment often place researchers…

Peer review for academic jobs and grants continues to be shaped by metrics, especially if your reviewer is highly ranked

The aim of peer review for research grants and academic hiring boards is to provide expert independent judgement on the quality of research proposals and candidates. Based on findings from a recent survey, Liv Langfeldt, Dag W. Aksnes and Ingvild Reyme…

What does COVID-19 mean for the evaluation of the Impact criterion in REF2021?

The concept of research impact represents, to a degree, a formal way of understanding the productive relationships forged between academic research and the wider world. Unsurprisingly, these relationships took on entirely new dimensions as the COVID-19…

Without a clear sense of purpose, what is the future of national research assessment exercises in Australia?

Commenting on the recent review of Australia’s ERA and EIA research assessment exercises, Ksenia Sawczak argues that they lack a clearly defined purpose, or return on investment for Australian universities. In a climate of declining trust in the Austra…

We won’t get to a more equitable knowledge ecosystem if we don’t have more equitable ways to assess research and knowledge

The ways in which research quality and research impact are defined and measured are deeply embedded in practices and concepts derived from the Global North. Drawing on examples from the Global South, Jon Harle argues that a fundamental shift is require…

Why indirect contributions matter for science and scientists (II)

In their previous post, Leo Tiokhin, Karthik Panchanathan, Paul Smaldino and Daniel Lakens argued that the predominant focus on scientists’ direct contributions has detrimental effects on collaboration, well-being, and scientific progress more broadly….