Article InformationEdit

Title: Assessing societal impact of health research in the Dutch Life Sciences: A quantitative approach

Author(s): Bastian Mostert

Affiliation: Utrecht University

Presented At: STiS 2008

Primary Topic Area: Science and the Public


In the Netherlands, but in many other countries, the last couple of years more and more attention is paid to the valorisation of science. This trend is underpinned by the increased focus on the accountability of publicly financed organisations, among which universities and medical centers. Although scientific quality is until now the only official performance indicator in the assessment of scientific research, the last few years a major shift has occurred for researchers and scientific institutes to prove that their research contributes to societal innovation and development besides the fact that it should by of high scientific quality. Especially health research, a type of research that has a more application-oriented character (and can therefore by regarded as a good example of the so-called ‘Mode 2’ knowledge production), has become subject to other indicators to assess its performance.

Because of the absence of an appropriate methodology to assess both scientific quality and societal impact of health research at the same time, a new (quantitative) methodology has been developed. By using this methodology, it becomes possible to investigate the performance of health research departments (i.e. in this study the departments of the Leiden University Medical Center) on both the scientific and the societal axis, because of the quantitative approach. The results of using this methodology will provide insights in the total performance of the departments and will suggest options for improvement within the planning and control cycle of scientific institutes.

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