The Future of Research(er) Assessment
What is the role of assessment of research and researchers? What is wrong with current systems and practices? Do we need a change? How can we improve it? But also Why and What needs to change to make research funding more sustainable?
Research evaluation plays an important role in shaping research culture, funding decisions, and career advancement. As we navigate the rapidly evolving research environment, it is crucial to explore approaches that can better capture the true value and impact of research and support the development of a healthy research ecosystem.
Current methods of research and researchers evaluation are often subject to considerable scrutiny due to their limitations and potential biases. In particular, the number of publications in high-impact factor journals and the number of citations are still used as proxies for assessing the quality, performance, and impact of research and researchers. These inappropriate methods and narrow evaluation criteria form the basis for recognition, rewards, and incentives systems, which influences the behaviours and activities of the research community, and thus unfortunately lead not only to a huge overproduction of results, often by the so-called salami method, where one result leads to multiple papers, but even to the publication of immature results (see LK-99). This, of course, has an economically devastating effect as all publishers enthusiastically publish 5% more articles in 5% more titles each year and so - certainly to their chagrin - have to raise prices in a never-ending exponential increase. And research institutions are forced to use public money to purchase publications containing truly valuable IN-FORMATION with the probability of a needle in a haystack. A reasonable evaluation could help stopping this.
The annual Knowledge, Research, Education Conferences, KRECon for short, have been held in the National Library of Technology since 2010. The intention is to bring together international and national experts, and other relevant actors in the Higher Education and R&D&I sector and provide them with a platform for discussion on new, not yet settled topics (at least in the Czech Republic) and possibly open provocation questions.
The aim of this year's conference is to foster dialogue and exchange ideas on the future of research(er) assessment. Three sessions and panel discussion will be dedicated to the following topics:
- Session 1: Reforming Research Assessment
- Session 2: Researcher Career Assessment
- Session 3: Research Grant Assessment
- Panel Discussion: The Future of Research(er) Assessment
We seek to critically examine existing practices and discuss potential reforms that can enhance the evaluation of research and researchers across diverse disciplines.
- Governmental policy makers responsible for evaluation of Research Performing Organisations, including Higher Education Institutions.
- Higher education and research institution management (rectors, vice-rectors for research, deans, directors / vice-directors of research institutes/doctoral schools, …)
- All professional and support personnel whose main activity is directly related to doctoral education.
- Academics, senior research staff, and early-career researchers (doctoral candidates, postdocs, junior researchers, …).
- Non-governmental organisations involved in data gathering, career tracking, consulting, etc.
The language of the conference will be English.
The KRECon 2023 conference and workshops are free of charge.
- Tomáš Polívka (Vice-chair of the RDI Council), Czech Republic - chair
- Eva Dibuszová (Head of Department for Strategy and Development at the National Library of Technology), Czech Republic
- Pavel Doleček (Deputy Minister for Science, Research and Innovation), Czech Republic
- Eva Hnátková (Open Science Coordinator at the National Library of Technology/University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Czech Republic
- Melita Kovačević (Professor at University of Zagreb/Vice-Chair of PRIDE Network), Croatia
- Martin Loebl (Vice-chair of the Learned Society), Czech Republic
- Gareth O’Neill (Principal Consultant on Open Science at Technopolis Group), The Netherlands
- Martin Svoboda (Director of National Library of Technology), Czech Republic
The KRECon 2023 Conference is organised by the National Library of Technology in Prague (NTK) under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS, MŠMT in Czech) and the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.