Sunday, September 19, 2010

Measuring production in science

My friend and co-author Julia Lane at NSF offers some thoughts on measuring the output of scientists, broadly conceived.

The problems here are many and deep. The two I think are toughest are dealing with disciplinary differences in the nature of scientific output and dealing with the perverse incentives created by unsophisticated performance metrics. In the latter case, examples are easy to find in the private sector, in universities and in government of poorly designed performance measures consuming resources and diverting activity away from production toward strategic manipulation.

But, it is surely worth trying to do better.

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