Assessing the quality of science to allocate resources and the impact of the research they fund are common and essential tasks for Science Europe Member Organisations. They regularly evaluate their policies and programmes to guide their strategic and funding decisions, as well as to demonstrate accountability and transparency to the public and policy-makers. In this regard, Science Europe provides a platform for its members to discuss evaluation policies and practices.
As the conduct of research and the mission of public research organisations evolve following scientific, technological, and societal trends it is essential to consider how existing assessment mechanisms cope with new evaluation needs, and whether novel approaches can be used to improve them further. Assessing research impact, in particular, requires complex approaches and techniques that are suited to the projects and programmes that are being evaluated. One of the principal hindrances to assessing impact is to identify the diverse contributions of specific research outcomes to society. A second major challenge is mapping the variety of impact pathways in order to attribute and trace observed societal impact back to the specific research activity that originated it.
To preserve quality as a cornerstone of research evaluation and impact assessment, Science Europe developed and champions the following principles and actions: