The very criteria of what counts as excellent and relevant research for the next generation of researchers will be strongly influenced by their current experiences in the regular evaluation exercises to which they are subjected. It is therefore urgent that the criteria used in evaluations at the individual level have a clear and well-understood relationship with the requirements that scientists and scholars will need to meet in the near future. Understanding the ways in which researchers are evaluated by their peers and institutions is crucial for assessing how the science system can be improved and enhanced.

Within the framework of the Lisbon Agenda, ACUMEN will develop criteria and guidelines for Good Evaluation Practices (GEP). These will culminate in recommendations for an ACUMEN Portfolio of evidence in support of individual career achievements for researchers throughout science and engineering, social science and the humanities. Each researcher’s ACUMEN Portfolio will combine multiple qualitative and quantitative evidence sources about their career and contributions.

The structure of ACUMEN Portfolios for individual academics will be based upon comparative research on: 1) the peer review system in Europe; 2) new quantitative performance indicators; and 3) new ways of using the web by researchers. ACUMEN is based on a specific conceptualization of what evaluation in scientific and scholarly research performs, and on a diagnosis of some of the key problems in the current evaluation system in Europe. These are the main ideas that drive the research agenda of ACUMEN.

Guidelines and Portfolio available for ACUMEN’s final Stakeholder Workshop – Friday 24 January in Brussels

Most importantly, during this workshop ACUMEN’s Guidelines to Good Evaluation Practices will be tested and discussed; the project’s main deliverable of extensive instructions on using the Portfolio, supplemented with exemplary use cases.  Please note that the current version is a draft and it will only be submitted as an official deliverable after evaluation and updating following the workshop.

Additionally four ACUMEN researchers have filled out the Portfolio, to present more live examples. Consult the portfolios by Judit Bar-Ilan , Kayvan Kousha, Mike Thelwall, and Lorna Wildgaard here. Of course, a blank ACUMEN Portfolio is also available.