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Convergence or polarisation? The impact of research assessment exercises in the Italian case

Daniele Checchi (), Irene Mazzotta (), Sandro Momigliano and Francesco Olivanti ()
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Irene Mazzotta: Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR)
Francesco Olivanti: School of Management of Politecnico di Milano

Scientometrics, 2020, vol. 124, issue 2, No 30, 1439-1455

Abstract: Abstract Two research assessments with an impact on university funding have taken place in Italy, covering the periods 2004–2010 and 2011–2014. After correcting grading schemes in order to grant comparability across the two exercises, we show that university final scores exhibit some convergence. We find that convergence is largely due to changes in the relative productivity of researchers who participated to both exercises as well as to hiring and promotions occurred between the two exercises. Results are confirmed even when we equalise the number of products across the two exercises. When we consider departments within universities, we still find convergence, though the structure and composition of departments is not strictly comparable, because mapping researchers involves some arbitrariness. These results suggest that convergence reflect genuine changes in the behaviour of researchers and in the strategies of assessed institutions, induced by incentives created by the national research assessment exercises.

Keywords: Research assessment; Productivity; Convergence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11192-020-03517-2

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