Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Elgar original reference

Edited by Albert N. Link and Nicholas S. Vonortas

As this volume demonstrates, a wide variety of methodologies exist to evaluate particularly the objectives and outcomes of research and development programs. These include surveys, statistical and econometric estimations, patent analyses, bibliometrics, scientometrics, network analyses, case studies, and historical tracings. Contributors divide these and other methods and applications into four categories – economic, non-economic, hybrid and data-driven – in order to discuss the many factors that affect the utility of each technique and how that impacts the technological, economic and societal forecasts of the programs in question.

Chapter 11: Bibliometrics as a tool for research evaluation

Diana Hicks and Julia Melkers

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, public sector economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


Bibliometrics, or the study of publication-based output, is a method widely applied in evaluation. As pressure for quantitative evidence of the success and impact of research efforts has grown, the use of bibliometrics has spread. The most common and accepted use is for the analysis of the output of basic research. However, bibliometrics is also useful as a partial indicator of overall R & D output, and of the productivity and impact of funded research teams and centers. The bibliometric evaluation of research and development activities remains one of the most challenging issues in program evaluation despite the effort devoted over the last few decades to develop and test reliable and accurate measures of research output. Fundamental issues arise in the use of bibliometric measurements of research and development activities. For example, a potentially long time frame – easily a decade or more – is needed to judge the results of research programs fairly.

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