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Studying grant decision-making: a linguistic analysis of review reports
Nederländerna.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Sustainability and Industrial Dynamics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1292-8239
Österrike.
2018 (English)In: Scientometrics, ISSN 0138-9130, E-ISSN 1588-2861, Vol. 118, no 1, p. 313-329Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Peer and panel review are the dominant forms of grant decision-making, despite its serious weaknesses as shown by many studies. This paper contributes to the understanding of the grant selection process through a linguistic analysis of the review reports. We reconstruct in that way several aspects of the evaluation and selection process: what dimensions of the proposal are discussed during the process and how, and what distinguishes between the successful and non-successful applications? We combine the linguistic findings with interviews with panel members and with bibliometric performance scores of applicants. The former gives the context, and the latter helps to interpret the linguistic findings. The analysis shows that the performance of the applicant and the content of the proposed study are assessed with the same categories, suggesting that the panelists actually do not make a difference between past performance and promising new research ideas. The analysis also suggests that the panels focus on rejecting the applications by searching for weak points, and not on finding the high-risk/high-gain groundbreaking ideas that may be in the proposal. This may easily result in sub-optimal selections, in low predictive validity, and in bias.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018. Vol. 118, no 1, p. 313-329
Keywords [en]
Peer review; Panel review; Research grants; Decision-making Linguistics LIWC; European Research Council (ERC)
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-235172DOI: 10.1007/s11192-018-2848-xScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049856026OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-235172DiVA, id: diva2:1248653
Funder
EU, European Research Council
Note

QC 20180918

Available from: 2018-09-17 Created: 2018-09-17 Last updated: 2018-10-16Bibliographically approved

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Sandström, Ulf

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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