National-scale research performance assessment at the individual level

Giovanni Abramo, Ciriaco Andrea D'Angelo

There is an evident and rapid trend towards the adoption of evaluation exercises for national research systems for purposes, among others, of improving allocative efficiency in public funding of individual institutions. However the desired macroeconomic aims could be compromised if internal redistribution of government resources within each research institution does not follow a consistent logic: the intended effects of national evaluation systems can result only if a "funds for quality" rule is followed at all levels of decision-making. The objective of this study is to propose a bibliometric methodology for: i) large-scale comparative evaluation of research performance by individual scientists, research groups and departments within research institution, to inform selective funding allocations, and ii) assessment of strengths and weaknesses by field of research, to inform strategic planning and control. The proposed methodology has been applied to the hard science disciplines of the Italian university research system for the period 2004-2006.

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