Evaluation of Science and Technology Policies

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The investor-based research funding system implemented in European countries increases the importance of research evaluation. Investors require not misty promise, but a reliable data proving the value of a proposed research. Therefore the development of research evaluation policies and techniques is an integral part of the research management.


A number of measures, called performance indicators are usually invented in order to simplify the evaluation process and make it more easily readable by non-expert groups (e.g. investors). "Simply put, performance indicators are measures that describe how well a programme is achieving its objectives Indicators are usually quantitative measures but may also be qualitative observations. They define how performance will be measured along a scale or dimension" (USAID Center for Development Information and Evaluation, 1996). The question that is raised in this essay can be formulated as follows: is it possible to rely on performance indicators without evaluation itself, and what will be the consequences To answer that question, the essay clarifies at first a concept of evaluation, its development in research policy, its relations with performance indicators (PI), limitations of PI, and finally demonstrates with the help of two examples that the substitution of evaluation with merely PI will lead to the decline of investor-funded science itself.
Let us at first get acquainted with the concept of evaluation answering a simple question: what is the evaluation and why do we need it in research Generally the evaluation can be defined as follows: Evaluation is the systematic acquisiti ...
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