Choosing Indicators for Measuring the Impact of Investments in Science

Sunday, 16 February 2014
Toronto (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Ian Carter , University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
Governments, institutions, and individual researchers are all interested in understanding the performance and impact of research and knowledge exchange. The media and others are also engaged.  However, producing acceptable and meaningful indicators, let alone measures, is challenging.  Timescales for research investment to be translated into societal benefits can be decadal, and the relationship between cause and effect is often grey at best.  Bibliometric indicators provide one view of research performance, but are restricted in what they provide in terms of outcomes.  Other indicators can conflate and confuse between different areas of performance, and the different performers involved.

This presentation will explore a range of indicators that might be relevant, the use of balanced scorecards to ensure different aspects are included, the aggregation of indicators to enable strategic monitoring, and the use of qualitative information.  It will illustrate approaches being taken in the UK, and highlight the challenges faced in drawing together the information required.