Science audited

The use of performance indicators on academic research, practices and effects

The purpose of this project is to analyze the effects of the governance of academic research through systems for evaluation and reward on the academic community.

Through both qualitative and quantitative methods, the evaluation and reward ’landscape’ is mapped, and changes in the publication behavior of scientists and scholars are analyzed, thus investigating how the ’evaluation/audit’ society have an effect on both the social and the intellectual organization of scientific research. The meeting of on one hand, the ’culture of metrics’, and on the other, prevalent academic norms, is a prominent theme throughout the project.

The analytical point of departure is found in theories on the development and organization of scientific research in late modern society. Changes in how the role of science and scientists/scholars is perceived, as well as the increasing commercialization of research, are also important themes for understanding the development being analyzed within this project.

The focus on the ’materialities and practices of measurement’ is what distinguishes this project from previous research on the governance of research. By relating the level of practices to the institutional and political levels, the project presents a unique perspective on the growth of ’culture of metrics’ in academia.

Through the use of theories on an ’evaluation and risk society’, as well as an understanding of disciplinary differences in academic research, the ambition is to move beyond an understanding of individual systems for research evaluation, towards a discussion where research evaluation is more broadly contextualized as part of wider societal changes.

Read more on the project at the University Research Portal