Danish scientist calls for European Evaluation Area

Danish scientist calls for European Evaluation Area

Europe needs to develop a European Evaluation Area with new European tools and measures for more competitive and successful European research programmes, says Danish scientist.

Speaking at a recent conference session on ‘evaluating European research programmes in the European Research Area (ERA) , Dr Karen Siune, Director of the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research policy warned that evaluating European research programmes was a challenge for evaluation methodology and that it was imperative to start using pan European comparative evaluations.

According to Dr Siune, the main problems related to evaluating European programmes are the short-term perspective often used in evaluations and the fact that science policy has a tendency to focus on innovation rather than science. Furthermore, adds Dr Siune, ‘the dominant use of peer review raises the risk of problematic evaluations of new and emerging problem areas and cross-disciplinary activities.’

Evaluations are a systematic exercise of researchers activities seen in the light of the aims. However, explains Dr Siune, the aims are often at different levels and therefore not easy to put in one score.

However, she adds, evaluations will continue and even increase as instruments used by policy makers as part of a range of control mechanisms. ‘We therefore need to do more to solve the situation. We need to develop a European Evaluation Area with unified data collection, pan-European comparative instruments and more
coordinated and comprehensive evaluation methods’ said Dr Siune.

In conclusion, Dr Siune urged the EU to remain open to new ways of reaching that goal and to learn from different models around the world.

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