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Prometheus Assessed? - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843345893, 9781780633015

Prometheus Assessed?

1st Edition

Research Measurement, Peer Review, and Citation Analysis

Authors: Shaun Goldfinch Kiyoshi Yamamoto
Paperback ISBN: 9781843345893
eBook ISBN: 9781780633015
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 11th April 2012
Page Count: 384
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This book examines the problems, pitfalls and opportunities of different models of assessing research quality, drawing on studies from around the world. Aimed at academics, education officials and public servants, key features include an overview of the argument of whether research should be assessed and how research quality should be determined. Prometheus Assessed? offers a survey of research assessment models in the US, UK, Japan and New Zealand and includes an examination of citation analysis and comparison between the different models.

Key Features

  • Should research be assessed and what is research quality?
  • Survey of research assessment models in US, UK, Japan and New Zealand
  • Examination of citation analysis


Academics, education officials and public servants, and university administrators

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables

List of abbreviations


About the authors

Chapter 1: Prometheus assessed?


Bibliometric measures

Panel review models

Decentralised models

But models overlap

The philosophy of science and research assessment

What use, if any, is the philosophy of science to research assessment?

Prometheus assessed – towards a study of the processes and assessment of research

Chapter 2: Publication, citation and bibliometric assessment of research


Publication and its centrality to research assessment

Judging research by publication outlet

Measuring publication

Ranking journals – impact factor and professional association listings

Citation analysis

Limitations to citations


Chapter 3: Peer review, refereeing and their discontents: a failed model or simply the least worst option?


The development of the refereeing process

The process of review

Valuing peer review

Questions and problems regarding peer review and refereeing

Conclusion: is refereeing a failed model? Or just the least worst option?

Chapter 4: From the Research Assessment Exercise to the Research Excellence Framework: changing assessment models in the United Kingdom?


Research and science in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom university system

The Research Assessment Exercise

Evolution of the RAE

Process and cost of the RAE

Evaluating the RAE

The Research Excellence Framework


Chapter 5: Perils of peer review in a small country? The Performance Based Research Fund in New Zealand


Higher education policy framework

The Performance Based Research Fund – design and operation

Quality assessment process

PBRF panel process

An evaluation of the PBRF by surveying panel members

Assessing research outputs

Assessing peer esteem

Contribution to research environment

Respondents’ views of what makes an ‘A’ researcher

The process of assessment

Respondents’ view of the PBRF scheme

Assessing the assessors


Evaluating the PBRF

Conclusion: limitations of the PBRF and suggested improvements

Chapter 6: Research evaluation in Japan: the case of the National University Corporations


Research in Japan

The Japanese university system

Research assessment and national universities

Evaluating the performance of the national universities

Implementation and results

Analysis and hypotheses



Chapter 7: Conclusion: Prometheus assessed and lessons for research assessment


Research and university evaluation in the United States

Assessing research – investigating the issues

Peer and panel review

Problems of group decision-making

Disciplinary power, panel review and citation analysis

Bureaucratic control and research assessment

The dichotomy between bibliometric and panel assessment is a false one

Impact, relevance and new directions in research assessment





No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2012
11th April 2012
Chandos Publishing
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Shaun Goldfinch

Shaun Goldfinch is an Associate Professor at the Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Nottingham, UK

Kiyoshi Yamamoto

Kiyoshi Yamamoto is a Professor at the University of Tokyo and the Center for National University Finance and Management, Tokyo.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Tokyo, Japan


This excellent book fills a glaring gap in literature and is packed full of research into researcher and university performance assessment. It takes a no-holds-barred approach to investigating and teasing apart the different methods for research assessment, showing the perils and pitfalls of each and just how shaky the foundations for assessment really are. The case studies of Britain, Japan and New Zealand are particularly illuminating. The book is a must read for those subject to the ever-present regulation of publishing and research activity through peer-review and other methods of triage. It should be on the desk of every university Vice-Chancellor and President, as well as all tertiary education and research policy makers., Robin Gauld, Professor of Health Policy, University of Otago Medical School, New Zealand

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