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substitute the previous Research Assessment Exercise series which were pure peer-review. In Italy, the Quality of Research Assessment (VQR), expected in 2012, substitutes the previous pure peer-review Triennial Evaluation Exercise (VTR 2006 ). It can be

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Abstract  

Over the last decade, ex post research assessment at the program level in the United States has seemed much less active than the equivalent activities in Europe, both west and east. This seeming lull was the result of a decline in program evaluation activity across the U.S. government in the 1980s, which slowed the rate of formal evaluations. Program review activities within agencies, however, were common, especially at such mission-oriented research supporting organizations as the Department of Energy and the Office of Naval Research. Review processes at these agencies relied primarily on expert assessment, sometimes at the project level, supplemented by user inputs. Quantitative performance measures were seldom used. That situation is about to change. In 1993, Congress passed the Government Performance and Results Act, which requires all agencies including those support research to set quantitative performance targets and report annually on their progress toward them. Agencies with clear technological goals are rapidly developing sets of indicators for this use, including peer assessments, bibliometric measures including patents, and customer satisfaction ratings. But fundamental research agencies do not find such measures satisfactory, and are just beginning to develop alternative ones.

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Abstract  

Scientometric predictors of research performance need to be validated by showing that they have a high correlation with the external criterion they are trying to predict. The UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) — together with the growing movement toward making the full-texts of research articles freely available on the web — offer a unique opportunity to test and validate a wealth of old and new scientometric predictors, through multiple regression analysis: Publications, journal impact factors, citations, co-citations, citation chronometrics (age, growth, latency to peak, decay rate), hub/authority scores, h-index, prior funding, student counts, co-authorship scores, endogamy/exogamy, textual proximity, download/co-downloads and their chronometrics, etc. can all be tested and validated jointly, discipline by discipline, against their RAE panel rankings in the forthcoming parallel panel-based and metric RAE in 2008. The weights of each predictor can be calibrated to maximize the joint correlation with the rankings. Open Access Scientometrics will provide powerful new means of navigating, evaluating, predicting and analyzing the growing Open Access database, as well as powerful incentives for making it grow faster.

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or less extensive use of these indicators in their next research assessments. The use of such measures is still limited to the natural and formal sciences, 2 where publications in international journals and conference proceedings are the most

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A longitudinal analysis of UK science covering almost 20 years revealed in the years prior to a Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 1992, 1996 and 2001) three distinct bibliometric patterns, that can be interpreted in terms of scientists’ responses to the principal evaluation criteria applied in a RAE. When in the RAE 1992 total publications counts were requested, UK scientists substantially increased their article production. When a shift in evaluation criteria in the RAE 1996 was announced from ‘quantity’ to ‘quality’, UK authors gradually increased their number of papers in journals with a relatively high citation impact. And during 1997–2000, institutions raised their number of active research staff by stimulating their staff members to collaborate more intensively, or at least to co-author more intensively, although their joint paper productivity did not. This finding suggests that, along the way towards the RAE 2001, evaluated units in a sense shifted back from ‘quality’ to ‘quantity’. The analysis also observed a slight upward trend in overall UK citation impact, corroborating conclusions from an earlier study. The implications of the findings for the use of citation analysis in the RAE are briefly discussed.

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reduce information asymmetry between the supply of new knowledge and the demand from students, companies, and others. Research assessment exercises are essentially policy instruments, in which the government can select evaluation criteria to influence and

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Abstract  

In national research assessment exercises that take the peer review approach, research organizations are evaluated on the basis of a subset of their scientific production. The dimension of the subset varies from nation to nation but is typically set as a proportional function of the number of researchers employed at each research organization. However, scientific fertility varies from discipline to discipline, meaning that the representativeness of such a subset also varies according to discipline. The rankings resulting from the assessments could be quite sensitive to the size of the share of articles selected for evaluation. The current work examines this issue, developing empirical evidence of variations in ranking due changes in the dimension of the subset of products evaluated. The field of observation is represented by the scientific production from the hard sciences of the entire Italian university system, from 2001 to 2003.

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Introduction This paper reports on one aspect of a project which investigated the publication and dissemination behaviour of UK researchers and the effect of research assessment on this behaviour. 1 Using a bibliometric method

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. These include systems of selective funding for research that are based on results from national research assessment exercises, or on evaluation of project proposals. After first examining aspects of the methodology and the applications for analysis of

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). Quantitative Indicators for Research Assessment: A Literature Review (No. Discussion paper 05/1) . Canberra : REPP, Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University . Safer , MA

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