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Scale-independent indicators and research evaluation


  • J Sylvan Katz


This paper demonstrates that some conventional indicators used in research evaluation may fail to account for the non-linearity between size of institution and performance. This can result in an over- or under-estimation of the research performance of both large and small institutions and nations. This paper shows that a power law relationship exists between recognition or impact and (a) publishing size of scientific communities within an OECD science system and (b) publishing size of a research community across OECD science systems or institutions in a science system. Also, a power law relationship exists between the amount of various types of collaboration and the publishing size of institutions. A new class of scale-independent indicators is developed to overcome the inequity produced by some non-linear characteristics commonly measured when evaluating research performance. Copyright , Beech Tree Publishing.

Suggested Citation

  • J Sylvan Katz, 2000. "Scale-independent indicators and research evaluation," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 23-36, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:scippl:v:27:y:2000:i:1:p:23-36

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