Expertise Fused with Context: Strengthening Bibliometric Recommendations Through Co-Design

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Bibliometrics is the use of statistical methods to analyze books, articles, and other publications, especially regarding peer-reviewed research publications. Toward monitoring and evaluating research programs, bibliometric methods offer quantitative insights on research that are scalable and transparent. CAS/Evaluation and Science-Metrix recently co-designed a technical note on Bibliometric Analysis in CGIAR; the note makes recommendations for enhanced use of bibliometrics as one of the methods in evaluating quality of science. This blog focuses on the value of the technical note co-design process to expand the horizons of bibliometric analysis and motivate its further use.

After a competitive selection process, the Evaluation Function of the CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat (CAS/Evaluation) contracted Science-Metrix (Elsevier) as expert consultants to co-design a technical note that provides recommendations on the use of bibliometrics toward evaluating the quality of science (QoS). CAS/Evaluation leveraged Science-Metrix’s expertise; its 20-year history in the use of bibliometrics for research program evaluation; and its unbiased, external view of CGIAR research practices. Namely, this work built on Science-Metrix’s work for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH—a bibliometric assessment of over 100 research projects, which included CGIAR work as well.

Participatory and iterative co-design helped integrate and synthesize documents and experiences to identify novel ways forward. The recommendations were co-designed through systematically combining Science-Metrix’s bibliometric expertise with input from CGIAR stakeholders and lessons from previous independent evaluative reviews of CGIAR Research Programs.

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