Individual researcher’s performance measurement as tool for career development and staff management

Lu, Max (2011). Individual researcher’s performance measurement as tool for career development and staff management. In: Perspectives on Metrics-Based Research Evaluation - Two Years On, The University of Queensland, (). 16-17 May 2011.

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Author Lu, Max
Title of paper Individual researcher’s performance measurement as tool for career development and staff management
Conference name Perspectives on Metrics-Based Research Evaluation - Two Years On
Conference location The University of Queensland
Conference dates 16-17 May 2011
Convener Thomson Reuters & The University of Queensland
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Oral presentation
Formatted Abstract/Summary
In the current global environment for higher education, accountability for research investments both from governments and private sponsors has become ever important. There has been an increasing demand on researchers in academic institutions to demonstrate measurable outcomes and impacts. Many world university rankings have invariably increased the weights of scholarly outputs and impacts (citations). The recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) exercise has concluded with a myriad of league tables of Australian universities and also demonstrated the significance of relative citations per publication. Whilst the world rankings and ERA measure institutions’ performance at an aggregate level, measuring the research productivity and excellence at an individual researcher level has been pursued locally at some institutions. This presentation will introduce the Q-Index – devised by the University of Queensland for measuring individual researcher’s overall research performance, modified based on the Socrates Index of the University of Western Australia.

Importantly, the Q-Index like its sister Socrates is not meant to be a single and simple index to rank academic researchers for promotion or any other purpose, but rather a tool to enable staff to self-reflect, track and monitor their research performance in a holistic manner, across all research activities of research grant, publications and quality of publications, research higher degree supervision and completion. Such a tool also provides quantitative reference point and benchmark for staff and their line managers in staff performance appraising processes – a tool together with other information such as teaching performance and administrative service load etc. would make staff management and career development planning much more evidence and benchmark-based than reading academic portfolios or curricula vitae. Of course one could also effectively use tools such as Q-index and ERA score cards to aid mapping of research strengths and emerging strengths, for strategic planning and investment purposes.

A word of caution, though, is that no tools would ever surpass human intelligence in judgment of quality. Q-Index or ERA is no panacea in addressing low performance in research at any institution. Nonetheless the data-based measurement tools simply reduce the degree of subjectivity which has large variations with different assessors, and provide more rigor and reliability in assessing research performance or quality.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

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Created: Thu, 09 Jun 2011, 12:56:00 EST by Andrew Heath on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service