Plenary session: Experiments in responsible metrics: how can indicators and data be used to support research? Sponsored by *Research Professional

James Wilsdon - Professor of Research Policy and Director of Research & Innovation in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield
Sarah de Rijcke - Professor of Science and Evaluation Studies, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University
Dr Elizabeth Gadd - Research Policy Manager (Publications) at Loughborough University
Martin McQuillan - Editor of HE for Research Professional

 

Chair: Martin McQuillan, Editor for HE, *Research Professional

Across the research community, there has been an explosion in the range and reach of metrics to capture research qualities, and to benchmark institutional or individual performance. Citations, H-indices, journal impact factors, grant income and other indicators now play a growing role in research management. And in the near future, increasingly granular data on research is likely to be combined with more sophisticated metrics for impact, teaching and learning, to give planners and policymakers access to an unprecedented wealth of real-time analytics.

Hand-in-hand with these expanding possibilities, debates have intensified about the pitfalls. There is concern about a narrowing of managerial focus onto things that can be measured, at the expense of those that matter. Some worry about a reduction in diversity, as an emphasis on particular metrics drives universities to adopt similar priorities, and researchers to focus on lower-risk, incremental work. Others point to the risks of gaming and perverse incentives, exacerbating problems of research integrity and reproducibility.

In response, over recent years, there have been a series of high profile efforts to reform how metrics are used. These include: the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which has recently been relaunched; the Leiden Manifesto, which was launched in 2015 by a group of leading scientometricians; The Metric Tide, a UK-based review of the role of indicators in research assessment, which in turn led to the creation of a Forum for Responsible Research Metrics; and a European Commission expert panel on Next Generation Metrics.

This panel brings together leading experts from research policy, research management and scientometrics to review progress, consider prospects and suggest next steps on the road towards more responsible metrics. Speakers include: James Wilsdon (University of Sheffield), Lizzie Gadd (University of Loughborough), and Sarah de Rijcke (Leiden University).

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Room Pentland
Time 14:00 - 15:30
Date Wednesday 6th June, 2018
Style Plenary
Speakers James Wilsdon - Professor of Research Policy and Director of Research & Innovation in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield
Sarah de Rijcke - Professor of Science and Evaluation Studies, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University
Dr Elizabeth Gadd - Research Policy Manager (Publications) at Loughborough University
Martin McQuillan - Editor of HE for Research Professional

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