How states cut research cake

January 14, 2000

In the United States, an examination has begun into the application of bibliometric and cost-benefit analyses, peer review, case studies, retrospective analyses and benchmarking and their suitability in the evaluation of research.

Evaluation in France is an integral part of research systems. Separate mechanisms assess universities and public research bodies. The Comite National d'Evaluation appoints external experts for peer review.

In The Netherlands, academic quality is assessed by outputs such as dissertations, academic and professional publications, patents, tests, prototypes and software. Criteria have shifted to funding from an earlier focus on accountability.

The Science Council in Germany evaluates specific research areas and all university and non-university research centres. Engineering quality is rated by projects financed by German research council DFG, on publications and an industry assessment.

In Ireland, the introduction of local evaluation procedures is relatively recent.

In Denmark, periodic evaluations are made for an institute, an activity or a whole research programme financed by the government.Danish research councils rate activity level and are starting to use the Science Citation Index.

The Academy of Finland is evaluating research in each engineering area and university units for top research unit status.

Hungary, Iceland, Portugal, Spain and Italy are developing or planning evaluation mechanisms. Quality is measured by rating "research potential" of both projects and institutes.

In Russia in 1998, a large strategic assessment of the state of "critical technologies" was carried out by 800 experts, with research rated on the "level of development" on an international index and the "relevance" of technologies.

Current guidelines for research evaluation in Japan state that evaluations should be tailored to take account of the character of the research rather than measure citations

or significance in

isolation.

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