Metrics for Institutional Assessment of the Impact of International Research Collaboration

Sunday, February 14, 2016
Prema Arasu, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
International research collaborations are increasingly recognized by U.S. universities as an important priority in both their research and internationalization agendas. While reports such as the NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD) and OECD Science, Technology, and Industry Scoreboard profile national trends, individual institutions lack practical and tested tools to measure and benchmark the impact and outcomes of their international collaborations.  We tested 16 research metrics including personnel, grants and expenditures, co-authored publications and co-inventions with international collaborators, citation impact and article downloads across five public universities for 2008-2012.   Analyses of bibliometric and institutionally-provided data indicated increased grant applications, awards and output in co-authored publications across most institutions but varying trends in personnel, expenditures, citations and co-inventions involving international collaborations over the five year period.  All 16 metrics could be used for assessment dependent on quality and ease of data collection and institutional priorities.  This study (NSF 1324474) provided insights on the best metrics for institutional-level usage in assessing the impact of international research collaborations and identified challenges, limitations and suggestions for further work.