Together with Sarah de Rijcke, he will work on 'Measuring science: The use of metrics in assessing impact, innovation and excellence in modern academia'.
The project – financed by The Swedish Research Council – focuses on the governance of science with an emphasis on how research is made auditable through the use of quantitative techniques; especially bibliometrics. Publication patterns as well as questionnaires will be used in order to examine how bibliometric evaluation influences the practices of scholars.
Studies will also be made of university rankings and their use in promoting the 'excellent' university. In tying the practical, institutional, and political levels together the project aims to provide a unique perspective on the emergence of a ‘metrics culture´ in academia.
Using a theoretical stance in theories about the 'audit' and 'risk' society it aims to take the analysis beyond discussions about different models of evaluating, or indicators of impact, and to place it in a larger context of social and organizational change. This broader perspective is required in order to understand the co-evolution of governance systems and techniques of measurement; a perspective where 'metrics' is not only a symptom but also a practice that in itself contributes to these developments.