Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2010/16: Use and non-use of research evaluation A literature review

Frank van der Most ()
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Frank van der Most: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This paper reviews the literature in research evaluation and in social program evaluation on the topic of use and effects of research evaluation. The past two or three decades have seen the emergence of several new forms of research evaluation next to the existing peer review practices on papers and project proposals. The UK Research Assessment Exercises are among the most studied and discussed ones. Many other types of evaluations have received some attention but when it comes to their use and effects, interest also quickly faded. It seems time to re-address the issue and see what can be learned from the existing literature for a study of use and effects. The paper also draws on literature from social program evaluation for additional insights since in this field the concern for use and effects is further developed. The most important insight gained is that use and effects of evaluations extend beyond those implied by policy-cycle perspectives and peer review. Furthermore, concepts and conceptual frames from the field of science and technology studies can be productive in the study of a wide range of use and effects, including the pressing issue of non-use.

Keywords: Research evaluation; social program evaluation

JEL-codes: O30

37 pages, January 20, 2011

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