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Peer review and expert panels as techniques for evaluating the quality of academic research

In: Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation


  • Irwin Feller


As this volume demonstrates, a wide variety of methodologies exist to evaluate particularly the objectives and outcomes of research and development programs. These include surveys, statistical and econometric estimations, patent analyses, bibliometrics, scientometrics, network analyses, case studies, and historical tracings. Contributors divide these and other methods and applications into four categories – economic, non-economic, hybrid and data-driven – in order to discuss the many factors that affect the utility of each technique and how that impacts the technological, economic and societal forecasts of the programs in question.

Suggested Citation

  • Irwin Feller, 2013. "Peer review and expert panels as techniques for evaluating the quality of academic research," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation, chapter 5, pages 115-142 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:14384_5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adam B. Jaffe, 2002. "Building Programme Evaluation into the Design of Public Research-Support Programmes," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 22-34, Spring.
    2. J Britt Holbrook & Robert Frodeman, 2011. "Peer review and the ex ante assessment of societal impacts," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 239-246, September.
    3. Bornmann, Lutz & Mutz, Rüdiger & Daniel, Hans-Dieter, 2007. "Gender differences in grant peer review: A meta-analysis," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 226-238.
    4. Peter van den Besselaar & Loet Leydesdorff, 2009. "Past performance, peer review and project selection: a case study in the social and behavioral sciences," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 273-288, October.
    5. David Paul A., 2008. "The Historical Origins of 'Open Science': An Essay on Patronage, Reputation and Common Agency Contracting in the Scientific Revolution," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-106, October.
    6. Irwin Feller, 2006. "Multiple actors, multiple settings, multiple criteria: issues in assessing interdisciplinary research," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 5-15, April.
    7. Finn Hansson, 2010. "Dialogue in or with the peer review? Evaluating research organizations in order to promote organizational learning," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(4), pages 239-251, May.
    8. Thomas Heinze, 2008. "How to sponsor ground-breaking research: A comparison of funding schemes," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(5), pages 302-318, June.
    9. Smith, Simon & Ward, Vicky & House, Allan, 2011. "‘Impact’ in the proposals for the UK's Research Excellence Framework: Shifting the boundaries of academic autonomy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1369-1379.
    10. Ben R Martin, 2011. "The Research Excellence Framework and the ‘impact agenda’: are we creating a Frankenstein monster?," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 247-254, September.
    11. Grit Laudel, 2006. "Conclave in the Tower of Babel: how peers review interdisciplinary research proposals," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 57-68, April.
    12. William Bonvillian & Richard Atta, 2011. "ARPA-E and DARPA: Applying the DARPA model to energy innovation," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(5), pages 469-513, October.
    13. Veronica Boix Mansilla & Irwin Feller & Howard Gardner, 2006. "Quality assessment in interdisciplinary research and education," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 69-74, April.
    14. Martin Reinhart, 2010. "Peer review practices: a content analysis of external reviews in science funding," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 317-331, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Linton & Nicholas Vonortas, 2015. "From Research Project to Research Portfolio: Meeting Scale and Complexity," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 38-43.


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