An international expert panel has recommended that allocations for science funding be based upon a combination of performance indicators and expert judgement, rather than by metrics alone.
The panel’s report, Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment, provides an in-depth analysis of the evidence relevant to science indicators and also examines science assessment practices used by funding agencies around the world.
“The report makes a positive statement on the ways indicators can be used in conjunction with expert judgement in the program evaluation process,” said Susan E. Cozzens, professor in the School of Public Policy and director of the Technology Policy and Assessment Center, who was one of the sixteen panelists. “The catalogue of indicators provided has been vetted with the world’s experts and should prove widely useful.”
The panel was convened by the Council of Canadian Academies at the behest of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) which spends approximately one billion dollars a year on scientific research. The intent was to address concerns that funding decisions made based on historical funding patterns are not the best way to determine future funding decisions.
Released to the public July 5, 2012, the report can be downloaded here: http://www.scienceadvice.ca/en/assessments/completed/science-performance.aspx