Quality and Relevance of Research. Redesigning research evaluation methods
31 January 2017
13.00-17.00 hrs. – Erasmus University Rotterdam
Evaluating Science – Prof.dr. Peter Dahler-Larsen
Making sense of science – Prof. dr. Pearl Dykstra
Alternative ways to measure quality and relevance – Prof.dr. Paul Wouters
Researchers; Research policy & support staff; Funders
Studies that looked into the effects of evaluation regimes provide indications of changes in the research process through for instance an institutional assessment bias against interdisciplinary work and the mirroring of formula-based funding criteria leading to less unorthodox, more main-stream, shorter term projects.
These studies also demonstrate individual researchers’ adaptation mechanisms such as changes in publication activity, abandonment of particular types of work and decreasing quality of submitted articles. Social studies of science point out the role of reputation, credentials, and social norms. These reputational mechanisms seem to align very well with dominant evaluative metrics, which have developed into prime instruments for research management. This also has implications for career development and talent management. Managers of knowledge institutions will have to aim for diversity to offer opportunities to a different kind of researcher working for a different career, both inside and outside academia.
Interdisciplinary collaboration in international networks and consortia based on their scientific merits is crucial in scientific development. Quality of research performance in which talent care, ethical research conduct and scientific integrity are leading principles is fundamental. The problem is complex and so is its solution. Ideally, quality should be derived from the actual impact the research results have on the observed problem.
The conference program takes the audience from evaluation theories (keynote), to examples from different disciplines (elevator pitches). From proof of quality for policy makers and the public (keynote), to suggestions of young academics to change the system (forum discussion). Finally, future directions derived from evaluation sciences are presented (keynote).