Selecting competent referees to assess research projects proposals: a study of referees' registers

Giovanni Abramo, Ciriaco Andrea D'Angelo, Fulvio Viel

The selection of referees for evaluation of research projects under competitive financing appears particularly critical: the greater the competence of the referee concerning the core topic, the more their judgment is trustworthy and the more the financing of the best proposals is probable. The current work analyzes registers of experts used to select referees for the evaluation of research proposals in public programs with competitive funding. The work has the objective to present a methodology to verify the degree of "coverage" of the register compared to the spectrum of competencies necessary for the evaluation of such wide-ranging national programs; and to evaluate the level of scientific performance of the register's referees in the hard sciences, compared to the their national colleagues from the same fields.

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