Impacts of performance-based research funding systems: The case of the Norwegian Publication Indicator
There has been a growing use of performance-based research funding systems (PRFS) as a policy tool. With the introduction of the Publication Indicator in 2004, Norway joined this international trend in which the allocation of basic funds is increasingly linked to performance indicators. The purpose of this article is to present and discuss the main results of a recent evaluation of the Norwegian Publication Indicator, which examines the Indicator’s impact on publishing patterns, its properties, and how it has functioned in practice. This includes both a broad range of potential effects such as the Indicator’s impact on the quantity and the quality of publications, Norwegian language publishing, and length of articles and monographs. It also includes an examination of properties such as the Indicator’s legitimacy and transparency, how it functions as a measure of research performance across different fields, its use as a management tool, and how the system is organized and administrated in practice. In examining these questions, the article draws on a number of different data sources, including large-scale surveys of both researchers and research managers, multilevel case studies, and bibliometric analysis. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the analysis both for further development of the Norwegian Model and for PRFS in general.