Category: research evaluation

For China’s ambitious research reforms to be successful, they will need to be supported by new research assessment infrastructures

The Chinese government recently announced that research assessment in China should no longer be predominantly focused on metrics, Web of Science based indicators and what has become known as ‘SCI worship’. In this post Lin Zhang and Gunnar Sivertsen discuss how China’s new research policy might be implemented and the parallels it has to recent attempts to reform … Continued

Future impact – How can we rationally evaluate impact statements?

Making claims about the future impact of research as part of research grant applications has since it’s inception been controversial. As, if impact statements are accurate they suggest that the outcomes of research are already known. As UKRI (the UK’s main research funding body) considers scrapping impact statements, Paul Benneworth and Julia Olmos Peñuela argue … 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

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 […]

To make PhDs fit for the 21st century we need to develop evidence based policies

The growth of PhD level education globally and in the UK has changed the nature of what it means to be a PhD holder. However, despite there being more PhDs and more value placed on producing them, there is still a severely limited evidence base for understanding PhD outcomes. Drawing on their recent working paper, Sally Hancock and Paul Wakeling […]

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 […]

What’s in a name? How false author affiliations are damaging academic research

When reading a research paper, can you be certain that the institution the author claims to be affiliated with is actually the institution that was responsible for supporting the research? In this post Vivienne C. Bachelet presents findings from a recent study suggesting that a significant proportion of author affiliations are unverifiable. Highlighting how a lack of editorial guidance in […]

Lessons from the past – Why our current understanding of UK research policy is wrong

As a result of Brexit, research policy in the UK is being asked to perform an increasingly large array of functions and will likely undergo significant changes. In this post David Edgerton draws on the findings of a recent British Academy report on the history of UK research policy to highlight how research policy in the UK is frequently misunderstood […]