FSD1089 Dynamics and Productivity of Research Activity in Universities 1990

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  • Kaukonen, Erkki (University of Tampere. Research Institute for Social Sciences)
  • Luukkonen, Terttu (Academy of Finland)
  • Stolte-Heiskanen, Veronica (University of Tampere. Department of Sosiology and Social Psychology)


bibliometric analysis, evaluation, peer reviews, performance indicators, research, scientific cooperation, scientific personnel

Sisällön kuvaus

The survey contains interviews of researchers in six Finnish institutes of higher learning. The main themes pertained to the organisation of the departments' research activities, internationality, scientific communication, scientific publication, utilisation of the findings, and evaluation of university research. The aim of the study was to develop qualitative evaluation methods for scientific research, and find out the significance of resources to the functioning of the departments and the consequences of assessment methods. The researchers were asked how their working time was divided between research, teaching, administration, and other tasks. Relating to professional identity, they were asked about their motivation for choosing a scientific career, along with factors connected to work and working conditions. Scientific communication was studied by asking how the respondents stay in contact with foreign colleagues, what eventual obstacles there are to international contacts, and which countries are the most essential in view of the researchers' own research area. Relating to publishing of the results, the respondents were asked whether their most recent research report was a joint publication or a single author publication, who chose the publication channel, and why was that particular publication channel chosen.

One topic covered research performance assessment and assessment criteria. The respondents were asked what were the most important factors to be taken into account when assessing research performance. The researchers were also asked whether the evaluation criteria used in performance assessment in their field of study were acceptable, and if not, what changes were needed. The scientific activity of the researchers was studied by asking the position of the researchers' main project in the field of science, the duration of the project, size and composition of the research group, and the researchers' other research projects. The researchers were asked to assess their own research, the current situation in their own field of research, and the applicability of their research projects. Other research projects pertaining to the same research area in Finland and abroad, and eventual contacts of the respondents' projects with these were charted. The respondents were also asked to assess their own research in comparison to other research groups and to say what kind of research they felt was high quality research, and with what indicators should scientific successfulness be measured. The survey also contains information on the researchers' scientific output during the past three years.

Background variables included the respondent's position in the department, age, sex, degrees taken, and experience in research activities.

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