Principles of research evaluation

The evaluation of research should always be of high quality, regardless of who is being evaluated, for what purpose and by what methods. Ghent University follows eight principles that every research evaluation should meet.

  1. The choice of an appropriate evaluation method for research is in line with the objective of the evaluation.
  2. The evaluation takes into account the intended impact of the research; strictly academic, economic, societal, or a combination of these.
  3. The evaluation takes into account the diversity between disciplines.
  4. For each chosen evaluation method, the simplicity of the procedure is weighed up against the complexity of the research.
  5. The evaluation criteria are drawn up and communicated to all stakeholders in advance.
  6. There are sufficient experts on the evaluation committee who are in a position to adequately assess the quality of the research.
  7. The above principles are implemented by means of a smart choice of evaluation indicators and by adopting a holistic approach to peer review.
  8. Any committee or policy measure evaluating research, makes a best effort commitment to translate the above principles into practice.

These eight principles are part of the university’s overall vision on evaluation of research and researchers. They are guiding principles for, among others, the Special Research Fund and for the evaluation and promotion of members of the professorial staff. The principles do not detract from the discipline-specific characteristics that characterise research quality in a particular field. Each principle is further elaborated in a vision paper that was approved by the Board of Governors in 2016.