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Research universities and research assessment

Phillips, M. Research universities and research assessment. League of European Research Universities (LERU), Leuven, 2012. Pages: 18.

Officially launched on June 19, LERU’s report warns about the risks of the obsession with measurement and monitoring of research which can result from the current proliferation of various types of assessment. Externally and internally driven research assessment has now clearly become part and parcel of the research university enterprise. However, a spreading 'bean counting' culture can detract from the real quality of research and the search for new knowledge.

Regardless of the methodologies used, universities, governments and research funders alike need to 'assess assessment' and evaluate what works in different research environments on the basis of valid and reliable evidence. One of the main messages of the author is that research assessment needs to be understood correctly and applied sensibly. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for universities and researchers as well as governments, funders, and external agencies.