[Report]The 39th PoP Seminar : Evaluation of Science, Resource Allocation, and Scientific Performance

The 39th PoP Seminar:
Policy Platform Seminar Series on Economics of Science and Innovation
Evaluation of Science, Resource Allocation, and Scientific Performance

Speaker: Sotaro SHIBAYAMA – Associate Professor, School of Engineering, University of Tokyo / Science, Technology and Innovation Governance Education & Research Program
Time & Date: Nov 16: 4:50-6:50 pm
Venue: Lecture Room 34, Sch. Eng. Bldg. 3 Univ Tokyo Hongo Campus
Language: English

The contemporary science system relies on intense evaluation of scientific publication, in which scientific “impact” is highly emphasized, but its implication has been controversial. This seminar discusses the trend of science evaluation and its impact on scientists’ publication strategies based on recent empirical studies including the speaker’s. The speaker particularly focuses on two aspects of the science system — resource allocation and career design — and explores whether these policies, presumably aiming at high-impact research, indeed achieve the goal. Drawing on in-depth interviews and econometric analyses of Japanese biology professors, it first shows that merit-based resource allocation can result in biased resource allocation, and that excessive resource concentration can facilitate low-impact publications. Second, results show that a lack of mobility, in particular inbreeding, increases low-impact publications, while international mobility decreases it. The latter effect is found to be mediated by fewer publications in low-impact journals, and thus, internationally mobile academics seem to decide the publication destination more strategically.

Shibayama, S. & Baba, Y. (2015) Impact-Oriented Science Policies and Scientific Publication Practices: The Case of Life Sciences. Research Policy, 44(4): 936-950.
Shibayama, S. (2011) Distribution of Academic Research Funds: Case of Japanese National Research Grant. Scientometrics, 88(1), 43-60.