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The Objective Measurement of World-Leading Research

Listed author(s):
  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()

    (University of Warwick)

How should the productivity of research universities be measured? This task is difficult but important. The recent Research Excellence Framework in the UK, which was based on peer review, suggests that there has been a marked improvement in UK academic research in economics and in many other subjects. But is it possible to design an objective check on, and measure of, a nation's 'world-leading research'? Following a variant of a method developed in Oswald (2010), I examine citations data on 450 genuinely world-leading journal articles over the Research Excellence Framework period 2008-2014. The UK produced 54 of these articles, namely, 12%. This compares to 45 articles, namely 10%, using the same methodology over the Research Assessment Exercise period 2001-2008. I conclude that it is possible to produce an objective measure of world-leading research, and that UK economics did show a small improvement.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8829.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8829
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  1. Daniel Sgroi & Andrew J. Oswald, 2013. "How Should Peer‐review Panels Behave?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 255-278, 08.
  2. DREZE, Jacques H; & ESTEVAN, Fernanda, "undated". "Research and higher education in economics: can we deliver the Lisbon objectives," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1941, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Frey, Bruno S, 2003. "Publishing as Prostitution?--Choosing between One's Own Ideas and Academic Success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 205-223, July.
  4. Andrew J. Oswald, 2007. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-Makers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 21-31, 02.
  5. repec:spr:scient:v:63:y:2005:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-005-0228-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Machin, Stephen & Oswald, Andrew, 2000. "UK Economics and the Future Supply of Academic Economists," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages 334-349, June.
  7. Nicholas Vasilakos & Gauthier Lanot & Tim Worrall, 2007. "Evaluating the Performance of UK Research in Economics," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2007/10, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
  8. R�gibeau, P & Rockett, K, 2014. "A Tale of Two Metrics: Research Assessment vs Recognised Excellence," Economics Discussion Papers 14461, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  9. David Roodman, 2009. "A Note on the Theme of Too Many Instruments," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(1), pages 135-158, 02.
  10. Andrew J. Oswald, 2010. "A suggested method for the measurement of world-leading research (illustrated with data on economics)," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 84(1), pages 99-113, July.
  11. Amanda H Goodall, 2005. "Should Research Universities be Led by Top Researchers? Part 1: Are they?," HEW 0506003, EconWPA.
  12. J. Peter Neary & James A. Mirrlees & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Evaluating Economics Research in Europe: An Introduction," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1239-1249, December.
  13. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Peter Schmidt, 2003. "The Determinants of Econometric Society Fellows Elections," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 399-407, January.
  14. Scott Smart & Joel Waldfogel, 1996. "A Citation-Based Test for Discrimination at Economics and Finance Journals," NBER Working Papers 5460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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