For research assessment and for science communities, performance evaluation and resource allocation based on the evaluation are always common and heated concerns. Although the controversy of how peer review and metrics working together has been long-standing, it is also widely recognized that metrics are significant and can provide useful information and necessary supports for policy making.
To efficiently utilize the metrics to support research assessment, data and evaluation models are essential. In 2002, the Massachusetts and Hewlett-Packard Co., Ltd. jointly constructed the world’s first Institutional Repository (IR) to collect, store and share academic outputs. In the recent decade, the integrated research information systems at the national level have become prevalent internationally, especially in Nordic countries. In those systems, often called Current Research Information System (CRIS), publication records, such as journal articles, monographs, etc., are the important data sources, to be used for research project tracking and, currently, to provide comprehensive services for research management.
The Norwegian Model is a metric-based evaluation system at the institutional or national level. It was designed to provide an indicator system and evaluation rules for the Performance-based Research Funding decision-making. The Model was created in 2005, and Prof. Gunnar Sivertsen from NIFU (the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education in Oslo) is the main designer. Since then, the Model has been adopted in a number of countries. Though it was initially designed for practical uses by CRIS, it could be, both theoretically and technically, independent of a CRIS to be implemented by utilizing other research information systems.
This special issue will focus on the Norwegian Model and its applications in various European countries. It will be the first time to introduce the Model together with a full international perspective. We hope this focused discussion at this time can help to foster better understanding on how not to misuse or overuse publication data for performance evaluation. Going too far beyond what is merited would be as bad as not going far enough. Scientific communities have been familiar with
Of course, this special issue cannot, and will not pretend to, close the book, and we are facing diverse purposes, emerging indicators, and shifting ways of research and innovation. So this special issue serves mainly to stimulate further discussion and experience sharing, especially on how metrics can be appropriately utilized to promote better research and better research management.
This issue consists of 7 articles from Norway, Belgium and so on. We are very honored to have Prof. Gunnar Sivertsen as our Guest Editor-in-Chief for this special issue. We are grateful to Prof. Lin Zhang from Wuhan University, China, for her coordination. We also appreciate all authors for making this special issue possible.