UK Research Metrics

Stefan Collini on how United Kingdom academics feel about managers and research metrics:


But there is obviously something much deeper at work. It is the alienation from oneself that is experienced by those who are forced to describe their activities in misleading terms. The managers, by contrast, do not feel this, and for good reason. The terms that suit their activities are the terms that have triumphed: scholars now spend a considerable, and increasing, part of their working day accounting for their activities in the managers’ terms. The true use-value of scholarly labour can seem to have been squeezed out; only the exchange-value of the commodities produced, as measured by the metrics, remains.


My personal experience is that research metrics can be useful as one input into performance related discussions. However, research metrics often do not capture the developmental aspects of doing research, or intangibles such as doing blind peer review for journals, or learning from exemplars. These would require a more Balanced Scorecard-like approach to research metrics.