The aim of this paper is to understand whether the probability of receiving positive peer reviews is influenced by having published in an independently assessed, high-ranking journal: we eventually interpret a positive relationship among peer evaluation and journal ranking as evidence that journal ratings are good predictors of article quality. The analysis is based on a large dataset of over 11,500 research articles published in Italy in the period 2004-2010 in the areas of architecture, arts and humanities, history and philosophy, law, sociology and political sciences. These articles received a score by a large number of externally appointed referees in the context of the Italian research assessment exercise (VQR); similarly, journal scores were assigned in a panel-based independent assessment, which involved all academic journals in which Italian scholars have published, carried out under a different procedure. The score of an article is compared with that of the journal it is published in: more specifically, we first estimate an ordered probit model, assessing the probability for a paper of receiving a higher score, the higher the score of the journal; in a second step, we concentrate on the top papers, evaluating the probability of a paper receiving an excellent score having been published in a top-rated journal. In doing so, we control for a number of characteristics of the paper and its author, including the language of publication, the scientific field and its size, the age of the author and the academic status. We add to the literature on journal classification by providing for the first time a large scale test of the robustness of expert-based classification.
Bonaccorsi A, Secondi L, Ancaiani A and Setteducati E
2011 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (Iceri)
, : 1566-1576
EXPLORING THE ROLE OF THIRD-PARTY RESEARCH IN ITALIAN UNIVERSITIES
In the last years several changes have occurred in the university research environment concerning both the funding method and the evaluation of research performance. On one hand, universities have significantly increased the recruitment of research funds from external sources - in addition to the basic research mainly funded by government and institutions' core budget - thus realizing a basis for the interaction between science and industry and for the creation of social and economic returns. On the other hand, the modification in the research funding system lead to consider indicators based on financial data in addition to the classical indicators for evaluating the research performance. However, the use of funding data - including third-party amount of funding - as suitable indicators to describe research performance of university departments and therefore for evaluating the scientific capacity of a university is still a debated issue due to the differences among fields of study and the non-profit nature of universities. In Italy, the newly established National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes is called to define performance indicators, concerning both the education process and the research activities, to be used for distributing funds to the universities on the basis of their performance. In this context, the increasing attitude of universities to collaborate with external partners and therefore the activation of the wider process of knowledge transfer are two major aspects to carefully and properly consider in the framework of research activities evaluation. This study has a twofold aim. Firstly, after a brief analysis of the evolution of funding sources of research activities in Italy, we will aim to shed light on the definition, the importance and the extent of third party funding in the Italian system of research funding. Secondly, by applying suitable statistical models we will empirically investigate the factors that characterize the departments making research on behalf of third parties as well as the significant features in raising research funding from external sources. The analysis include all Italian university departments and it will be based on a unique data set obtained by combining different sources of data - collected early by the Italian Ministry of Education University and Research - which include information concerning both the structure, also in terms of academic staff, the field of study of the department and the economic context in which each institution operates. Although discussion in the paper focuses on the evaluation process and the use of results obtained as a basis for the definition of a global research evaluation framework, the analysis carried out can also represent an important tool for each university institution regarding the internal processes of decision making and monitoring.
Over the last few years, the emergence of universities' third mission has significantly affected objectives, sources of funding and financing methods, as well as the management, of universities. Although the university-industry relationships have been widely investigated, several interesting theoretical and empirical issues still remain open in the literature. In this paper we construct an original data set, combining financial information with structural and organizational data on Italian University departments, with a twofold aim. First, to describe the importance and the extent of third-party funding in the Italian system of research as well as the pattern of evolution over the last few years. Second, to investigate the factors that influence both the probability and the intensity of the commitment of departments in third-party activities by building a multi-level framework combining factors at individual, departmental, university and territorial levels. The results obtained suggest a number of policy implications for universities and policy makers. On one hand, universities should explicitly recognize the role of dedicated internal organizations and provide training for professional staff capable of acting as value-added intermediaries. On the other hand, if policy makers wish to improve the relationships between universities and external actors, disciplinary differences across departments as well as regional inequalities in growth levels should be carefully considered, giving up a one-size-fits-all approach.
Ever more frequently, governments have decided to implement policy measures intended to foster and reward excellence in scientific research. This is in fact the intended purpose of national research assessment exercises. These are typically based on the analysis of the quality of the best research products; however, a different approach to analysis and intervention is based on the measure of productivity of the individual scientists, meaning the overall impact of their entire scientific production over the period under observation. This work analyzes the convergence of the two approaches, asking if and to what measure the most productive scientists achieve highly cited articles; or vice versa, what share of highly cited articles is achieved by scientists that are “non-top” for productivity. To do this we use bibliometric indicators, applied to the 2004–2008 publications authored by academics of Italian universities and indexed in the Web of Science.
This article reports on a large-scale exercise of classification of journals in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences, carried out by the Italian Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes. After discussing at some length the controversies linked with journal classification and its impact, we endeavor to compare such a classification with the scores that individual articles published in the same journals were assigned by completely independent assessors in the same period of time. The data refer to an important subset of disciplines covering History, Philosophy, Geography, Anthropology, Education, and Library Sciences, allowing for comparisons between scientific fields of different sizes, outlooks, and methods. As the controversies surrounding the rating of journals focus on the difference between the container (the journal) and the content (the individual article), we addressed the following research questions: (1) Is journal rating, produced by an expert-based procedure, a good predictor of the quality of articles published in the journal? (2) To what extent different panel of experts evaluating the same journals produce consistent ratings? (3) To what extent the assessment of scientific societies on journal rating is a good predictor of the quality of articles published in journals? (4) Are there systematic biases in the peer review of articles and in the expert-based journal rating? We find that journal rating is a legitimate and robust assessment exercise, as long as it is managed carefully and in a cautious way and used to evaluate aggregates of researchers rather than individual researchers.
The literature on gender differences in research performance seems to suggest a gap between men and women, where the former outperform the latter. Whether one agrees with the different factors proposed to explain the phenomenon, it is worthwhile to verify if comparing the performance within each gender, rather than without distinction, gives significantly different ranking lists. If there were some structural factor that determined a penalty in performance of female researchers compared to their male peers, then under conditions of equal capacities of men and women, any comparative evaluations of individual performance that fail to account for gender differences would lead to distortion of the judgments in favor of men. In this work we measure the extent of differences in rank between the two methods of comparing performance in each field of the hard sciences: for professors in the Italian university system, we compare the distributions of research performance for men and women and subsequently the ranking lists with and without distinction by gender. The results are of interest for the optimization of efficient selection in formulation of recruitment, career advancement and incentive schemes.
Questo sito utilizza i cookie per fornire la migliore esperienza di navigazione possibile. Continuando a utilizzare questo sito senza modificare le impostazioni dei cookie o cliccando su "Accetta" permetti il loro utilizzo.