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Research: metrics, quality, and management implications
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Dr Peter Andras
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Research evaluation is increasingly important in management decisions in universities. Research metrics provide an objective way to assess the research output of individuals, groups, departments and universities. Such metrics work well as quality assessment tools in the case of normal science research in mature sciences, and also in the case of early stage sciences containing a significant amount of research that is meant to be revolutionary. Revolutionary research in mature sciences and unfashionable revolutionary research in early stage sciences remain mostly invisible to research metrics in the short term. This kind of research may become measurable in the long term if it turns out to be successful and generates a large volume of follow-on research that becomes part of normal science. Pursuing revolutionary research is risky, and this risk is modulated by the availability of an appropriate research workforce and the funding environment. Hype and spin are part of the mechanisms of scientific public opinion, and dealing with these is important in the context of management decisions based on research metrics.
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