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Turning academics into researchers: The development of National Researcher Categorization Systems in Latin America

Federico Vasen

Fri 15 Sep 2023 | 15:00 - 16:15 (CEST
Federico Vasen

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Federico VasenEvaluation procedures play a crucial role in science and technology systems, particularly within academic career structures. This article focuses on an approach to evaluation that has gained prominence in Latin America over the past four decades. This scheme assesses the individual performance of academics based on their academic activities and outputs and assigns them a ‘researcher category’, which carries prestige and, in many cases, additional monthly rewards. Initially implemented in higher education contexts with limited research focus, these systems aimed to bolster knowledge production by involving more academics in research. In this study, we define National Researcher Categorization Systems (NRCSs) and distinguish them from other evaluation systems. Subsequently, we present a comparative analysis of NRCSs in seven countries, identifying common trends. Additionally, we discuss categorization systems within the broader context of strategies employed to incentivize academic research, and we explore the potential structural effects that arise when NRCSs assume a central role in a science system.

Through our research, we have identified a family of systems in five countries (Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Panama) that share a common history and structure. Furthermore, we emphasize that NRCSs may reinforce a traditional model of the academic researcher, potentially impeding the development of professional profiles aligned with research directed toward social objectives. In summary, our study sheds light on NRCSs, providing insights into their nature, comparative analysis across countries, and implications within the broader academic research landscape.
Fulltext of the article that will be the basis of the presentation: https://federico.impactoabierto.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/07/2023-National-Researcher-Categorization-Systems.pdf


Federico Vasen , Universidad de Buenos Aires / CONICET, Argentina

Twitter: @federicovasen

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