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Jappelli T.,University of Naples Federico II | Nappi C.A.,Anvur | Torrini R.,Bank of Italy
Research Policy | Year: 2017

The paper contributes to the literature on gender gap in research investigating whether there is a gender gap in research evaluation. We use detailed data on 180,000 research papers evaluated during the Italian national research assessment (VQR 2004–2010) conducted by the Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (Anvur). The data are merged with information on individual researchers and characteristics of referees. The most important empirical finding is that there is a significant gender gap in research evaluation. The gap is reduced once we control for researchers’ characteristics, such as age and academic rank, but is almost unaffected by the characteristics of the research output (monographs, journal articles, book chapters, etc.), co-authorships, international collaborations. Childbearing and maternity leaves do not account for the remaining gap in research evaluation. The evaluation method (peer review or bibliometric analysis) and the referee mix (whether men or women) do not disadvantage women. Analysis of a random sample of papers evaluated using bibliometric indicators and peer review reveals that bibliometric evaluation proves to be more favourable to women than peer review evaluation. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Iazzi M.,International School for Advanced Studies | Fantoni S.,ANVUR | Trombettoni A.,International School for Advanced Studies | Trombettoni A.,CNR Institute of Materials
EPL | Year: 2012

We derive and study the anisotropic Ginzburg-Landau and Lawrence-Doniach models describing a layered superfluid ultracold Fermi gas in optical lattices. We compute from the microscopic model the Josephson couplings entering the Lawrence-Doniach model across the crossover BCS-BEC passing from the 3D isotropic case to the quasi-2D one, showing that a model with only nearest-neighbor Josephson couplings is not adequate at the unitary limit (since the pairs have a diameter larger than the interlayer distance). We also show that the effective anisotropy of the system is strongly reduced at the unitary limit. Finally, we obtain a relation between the interlayer Josephson couplings and the Ginzburg-Landau masses: we find that using only couplings between adjacent planes is correct in the BEC side, while at the unitary limit one has to use also next-nearest-neighboring couplings. © Copyright EPLA, 2012.


Bertocchi G.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Gambardella A.,Bocconi University | Jappelli T.,University of Naples Federico II | Nappi C.A.,ANVUR | Peracchi F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Research Policy | Year: 2015

A relevant question for the organization of large-scale research assessments is whether bibliometric evaluation and informed peer review yield similar results. In this paper, we draw on the experience of the panel that evaluated Italian research in Economics, Management and Statistics during the national assessment exercise (VQR) relative to the period 2004-2010. We exploit the unique opportunity of studying a sample of 590 journal articles randomly drawn from a population of 5681 journal articles (out of nearly 12,000 journal and non-journal publications), which the panel evaluated both by bibliometric analysis and by informed peer review. In the total sample we find fair to good agreement between informed peer review and bibliometric analysis and absence of statistical bias between the two. We then discuss the nature, implications, and limitations of this correlation. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Anfossi A.,ANVUR | Ciolfi A.,ANVUR | Costa F.,ANVUR | Costa F.,University of Pisa
Proceedings of ISSI 2015 Istanbul: 15th International Society of Scientometrics and Informetrics Conference | Year: 2015

In the recent Italian Evaluation of Research Quality exercise for the period 2004-2010 (VQR), promoted by the Italian Ministry of Education and carried by the National Agency for Research Evaluation (ANVUR), metrics were massively employed. The use of Impact Factor or article citations (or both) are usually considered a powerful tool for supporting the peer review process but the replacement of the latter with an automatic evaluation tool has been always considered risky. Here we propose a possible prescription to overcome some limitations of the bibliometric evaluation carried out within the context of the VQR, while, at the same time, keeping the main distinctive features of the evaluation approach unchanged, namely, a simple evaluation tool based on the combined use of the CIT and IF variables While maintaining the basic elements of the previous algorithm unchanged and keeping the method simple and feasible on a large scale, we argue that the main flaws and limitations can be overcome.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Italian politics is in turmoil after the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi — but researchers say that they are not particularly sad to see him go. In his almost three years in charge, Renzi promised improvements for universities and science but failed to raise the status of research in the country, according to scientists who complain that he also directly interfered in academic affairs. “Renzi became prime minister at a time of serious economic and social crisis, and he injected a sense of energy and optimism into the university and research sector,” says biologist Cesare Montecucco of the University of Padua. “Our expectations were raised, but they were mostly disappointed.” Renzi resigned on 7 December, three days after constitutional reforms he proposed were defeated in a referendum. He stayed on to push through a 2017 budget that sees no significant increase for Italy’s chronically underfunded university and research system. (Exact figures for research spending have not yet been released.) Italy’s research and university funding per head is among the lowest in Europe — although the country does produce a greater share of highly cited research papers than the European Union average. Little has changed on that score during Renzi’s tenure, say Montecucco and other scientists. Renzi has not delivered what they have long campaigned for: less bureaucracy for research institutions and a new research-grants agency along the lines of the US National Science Foundation. Most controversial has been Renzi’s decree in November 2015 creating a €1.5-billion (US$1.7-billion) centre for genomics in Milan. Known as the Human Technopole, it will focus particularly on personalized medicine and nutrition. The new budget foresees annual funding of well over €100 million beginning in 2018. Although some are grateful for the research funding, many scientists have complained that the major investment in a single new project is inappropriate when most other public research institutes are starving for cash. They also strongly objected to the fact that it was planned by Renzi with a few chosen scientists behind closed doors. In September 2016, Renzi floated the idea of creating 500 elite professorships known as Natta chairs (after Italian chemist and Nobel laureate Giulio Natta), to be awarded mainly to Italians working abroad. They would be selected through 25 evaluation panels whose chairs the prime minister would nominate. Thousands of academics signed an open letter in October complaining that Renzi designed the programme without discussing it with universities — and protesting the involvement of politics in the selection. Regulations for the Natta selection procedure have not yet been published, so scientists hope that the next government will ensure that the process remains inside the academic community. “Nomination of panel chairs by the prime minister is just not acceptable,” says physicist Giorgio Parisi of the University of Rome La Sapienza, a prominent critic of the process. “It is a political choice to do the selection independently of Italian universities, but then you could turn to external academic organizations, like Europe’s national academies.” Parisi is also unhappy with aspects of the 2017 universities budget. In particular, a €271-million portion of it will now be reallocated to the university departments that are judged by the national evaluation agency ANVUR to have the best research performance. Parisi thinks that new money should be made available to reward high performers, rather than being transferred from the general university budget, which is already stretched thin. “This government reallocation means that weaker universities in the south will lose even more money, and this would be a social disaster," he says. An interim government will hold down the fort until new elections are held, which could take place next year. Uncertainty is set to continue. Populist and protest parties, particularly the Five Star Movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo, are likely to make substantial gains in the next election. These parties do not have strong scientific agendas. Italian senator-for-life Elena Cattaneo, who is also a neuroscientist at the University of Milan, is taking a wait-and-see perspective. “One or two populists in the current parliament have shown themselves to be more open to discussion on scientific topics than members of mainstream parties,” she says.


Bonaccorsi A.,ANVUR | Cicero T.,ANVUR | Ferrara A.,ANVUR | Malgarini M.,ANVUR
F1000Research | Year: 2015

The aim of this paper is to understand whether the probability of receiving positive peer reviews is influenced by having published in an independently assessed, high-ranking journal: we eventually interpret a positive relationship among peer evaluation and journal ranking as evidence that journal ratings are good predictors of article quality. The analysis is based on a large dataset of over 11,500 research articles published in Italy in the period 2004-2010 in the areas of architecture, arts and humanities, history and philosophy, law, sociology and political sciences. These articles received a score by a large number of externally appointed referees in the context of the Italian research assessment exercise (VQR); similarly, journal scores were assigned in a panel-based independent assessment, which involved all academic journals in which Italian scholars have published, carried out under a different procedure. The score of an article is compared with that of the journal it is published in: more specifically, we first estimate an ordered probit model, assessing the probability for a paper of receiving a higher score, the higher the score of the journal; in a second step, we concentrate on the top papers, evaluating the probability of a paper receiving an excellent score having been published in a top-rated journal. In doing so, we control for a number of characteristics of the paper and its author, including the language of publication, the scientific field and its size, the age of the author and the academic status. We add to the literature on journal classification by providing for the first time a large scale test of the robustness of expert-based classification. © 2015 Bonaccorsi A et al.


The aim of this paper is to understand whether the probability of receiving positive peer reviews is influenced by having published in an independently assessed, high-ranking journal: we eventually interpret a positive relationship among peer evaluation and journal ranking as evidence that journal ratings are good predictors of article quality. The analysis is based on a large dataset of over 11,500 research articles published in Italy in the period 2004-2010 in the areas of architecture, arts and humanities, history and philosophy, law, sociology and political sciences. These articles received a score by a large number of externally appointed referees in the context of the Italian research assessment exercise (VQR); similarly, journal scores were assigned in a panel-based independent assessment, which involved all academic journals in which Italian scholars have published, carried out under a different procedure. The score of an article is compared with that of the journal it is published in: more specifically, we first estimate an ordered probit model, assessing the probability for a paper of receiving a higher score, the higher the score of the journal; in a second step, we concentrate on the top papers, evaluating the probability of a paper receiving an excellent score having been published in a top-rated journal. In doing so, we control for a number of characteristics of the paper and its author, including the language of publication, the scientific field and its size, the age of the author and the academic status. We add to the literature on journal classification by providing for the first time a large scale test of the robustness of expert-based classification.

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