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Research assessment and recognized excellence: simple bibliometrics for more efficient academic research evaluations

Régibeau, P and Rockett, KE (2016) 'Research assessment and recognized excellence: simple bibliometrics for more efficient academic research evaluations.' Economic Policy, 31 (88). 611 - 652. ISSN 0266-4658

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Many countries perform research assessment of universities, although the methods differ widely. Significant resources are invested in these exercises. Moving to a more mechanical, metrics-based system could therefore create very significant savings. We evaluate a set of simple, readily accessible metrics by comparing real Economics departments to three possible benchmarks of research excellence: a fictitious department composed exclusively of former Nobel Prize winners, actual world-leading departments, and reputation-based rankings of real departments. We examine two types of metrics: publications weighted by the quality of the outlet and citations received. The publication-based metric performs better at distinguishing the benchmarks if it requires at least four publications over a six year period and allows for a top rate for a very small set of elite reviews. Cumulative citations received over two six-year review periods appear to be somewhat more consistent with our three benchmarks than within-period citations, although within-period citations still distinguish quality. We propose a simple evaluation process relying on a composite index with a journal-based and a citations-based component. We also provide rough estimates of the cost: assuming that all fields of research would be amenable to a similar approach, we obtain a total cost of about £12M per review period.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2017 15:25
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2018 15:15

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