The United Kingdom, through the Higher Education Funding Council for England, has worked since 2005 to reform the evaluation of research, known as the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise). The latest study, published in a report in September 2008, sought to analyze and deploy a database containing all academic and publications submitted to evaluation committees during fiscal 2001. Commissioned by HEFCE and conducted by the Center for the Study of Science and Technology (CWTS, Leiden University, Netherlands), the authors of this study explored and tried to solve a series of technical problems in optics developing methods to produce bibliographic appropriate indicators of research quality. The objective is to advise HEFCE on choice and use of such indicators in a pilot exercise to be implemented in the near future.
The areas of research, academic publications and evaluated were classified into 8 groups. Six together the hard sciences (clinical medicine, health sciences, disciplines related to health, biology, physics and engineering and computer science) and the two remaining groups are math and social sciences and humanities.
The issues raised in this report were grouped into three sections: issues of methodology, discipline groups and their aggregation and sensitivity analysis.
1.1 Relevance of Web of Science (WoS)
To start, the authors created a database of researchers and publications from the complete list of departments for the RAE 2001, which had been provided by HEFCE. In the category of “best” publications submitted to RAE 2001 articles published in scientific journals are on average 73% of all publications submitted for evaluation. Cette proportion atteint 92 % en sciences dures et en math