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Do observations have any role in science policy studies? A reply
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Sustainability and Industrial Dynamics. (Hållbarhet och Industriell Dynamik)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1292-8239
2017 (English)In: Journal of Informetrics, ISSN 1751-1577, E-ISSN 1875-5879, Vol. 11, no 3, 941-944 p.Article in journal, Letter (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Van den Besselaar et al. (2017) we tested the claim of Linda Butler (2003) that funding systems based on output counts have a negative effect on impact as well as quality. Using new data and improved indicators, we indeed reject the claim of Butler. The impact of Australian research improved after the introduction of such a system, and did not decline as Butler states. In their comments on our findings, Linda Butler, Jochen Gläser, Kaare Aagaard & Jesper Schneider, Ben Martin, and Diana Hicks put forward a lot of arguments, but do not dispute our basic finding: citation impact of Australian research went up, immediately after the output based performance system was introduced. It is important to test the findings of Butler about Australia – as these findings are part of the accepted knowledge in the field, heavily cited, often used in policy reports, but hardly confirmed in other studies. We found that the conclusions of Butler are wrong, and that many of the policy implications based on it simply are unfounded. In our study, we used better indicators, and a similar causality concept as our opponents. And our findings are independent of the exact timing of the policy intervention. Furthermore, our commenters have not addressed our main conclusions at all, and some even claim that observations do not really matter in the social sciences. We find this position problematic − why would the taxpayer fund science policy studies, if it is merely about opinions? Let’s take science seriously − including our own field Do observations have any role in science policy studies? A reply. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318312568_Do_observations_have_any_role_in_science_policy_studies_A_reply [accessed Sep 11, 2017].

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 11, no 3, 941-944 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-214066DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2017.05.022ISI: 000410528900037Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85022005289OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-214066DiVA: diva2:1140117
Note

QC 20171011

Available from: 2017-09-11 Created: 2017-09-11 Last updated: 2017-11-14Bibliographically approved

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