SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

In metrics we trust? Prospects & pitfalls of new research metrics

A one-day workshop hosted by the University of Sussex, as part of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment
Tuesday 7 October 2014
Terrace Room, Conference Centre, Bramber House, University of Sussex

tape measureThe quality and impacts of research are commonly assessed using a combination of peer review and a variety of quantitative metrics. The use of metrics and ‘altmetrics’ has developed rapidly, but is the subject of heated debate across the research community.

In April 2014, the Minister for Universities and Science asked HEFCE to undertake a review of the role of metrics in research assessment and management, to inform these debates and influence the design of the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). Details of the review can be found on the HEFCE website. The review will consider current uses of metrics for research assessment, the robustness of metrics across different disciplines, and their potential contribution to the development of research excellence and impact. The review is being chaired by James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy at the University of Sussex, and will publish its findings in the spring of 2015. 

As a contribution to the work of the review, HEFCE and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex are co-hosting a one-day workshop on 7 October 2014.

Speakers at the workshop will include:

Euan Adie, Founder, Altmetric  
Dr Eleonora Belfiore, Associate Professor of Cultural Policy, University of Warwick
Dorothy Bishop, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, University of Oxford   
Dr Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief, Nature
Dr Lisa Colledge, Director of Research Metrics, Elsevier
David Colquhoun, Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, UCL     
Stephen Curry, Professor of Structural Biology, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College                    
Dr Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Director, PLOS
James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy, SPRU & Chair, independent metrics review
Prof. Paul Wouters, Centre for S&T Studies, University of Leiden

The agenda will also include a Metrics Bazaar: an interactive opportunity to explore metric tools and platforms from Academic Analytics, Altmetric, PLOS, Snowball Metrics, Elsevier and The Conservation. Please see the programme for full details. 

The workshop has four goals:

1)     To explore the changing landscape for research metrics and hear at first-hand from the providers of new indicators, tools and platforms;
2)     To identify actual and potential uses of new metrics by HEIs, research funders, research managers and policymakers, and how these uses may change in future;
3)     To critically examine potential uses and misuses of metrics, and consider negative consequences that may arise from gaming;
4)     To generate evidence, insights and concrete recommendations that can inform the final report of the independent metrics review.

The workshop will be attended by members of the metrics review panel, metrics developers and providers, researchers, university managers, and a range of stakeholders from across the research and HE community.

'This event has now sold out. If you could like your name to be added to the waiting list, please email Aidan Gracey (A.Gracey@sussex.ac.uk) with your name, job title and affiliation, and we will let you know if any extra places become available.'


Please see travel information for details of how to get to the University of Sussex.HEFCE


* Image 'proper measurement' courtesy of Barbara Krawcowicz.