News: Two Years After Publication, Leiden Manifesto Shows Wide Influence

Professor Diana Hicks 

Posted June 27, 2017

Two years ago, on 23 April 2015, Professor Diana Hicks in the School of Public Policy and co-authors published in Nature the Leiden Manifesto for research metrics offering 10 principles to guide use of metrics in research evaluation. In 2016, the Manifesto received the Ziman award of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) for collaborative promotion of public interaction with science and technology. The award citation noted that the Leiden Manifesto is an initiative to engage with the rise of metrics based research assessment by articulating a set of principles which draw on the insights of science and technology studies on the nature of knowledge.

The manifesto represents a serious and successful public-facing and comprehensible interpretation of the technical area of metrics. Much research evaluation practice and discourse is quite narrowly national in nature, in contrast the manifesto is shared by a wide audience generating a wider international European and global conversation. Its global relevance is shown by the number of translations.  Volunteers have translated the manifesto into 15 languages: simplified & traditional Chinese, Russian, Korean, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Finnish, Persian, Slovak, Basque and Catalan. The translations are mounted on a website: leidenmanifesto.org seen by over 200 unique visitors every day. A video version of the manifesto is mounted on Vimeo and has been played over 2,300 times.

The Leiden Manifesto draws on state of the art knowledge on research metrics and is linked to an extensive range of international projects, publications, conferences, workshops and networks. The article has been viewed over 60,000 times on Nature’s website, and has accumulated 259 citations in Google Scholar, 128 in Scopus and 55 in Web of Science.

The manifesto addresses a broad audience tasked with assessing research performance with the ultimate goal of assuring public accountability. The initiative is designed to influence evaluation practice and is an impressive effort to take specialized knowledge into a wide policy arena. The university senates of Ghent, Loughborough, Bath and Indiana Bloomington have developed principles for application of research metrics in their institutions that are explicitly based on the Leiden Manifesto. The principles have guided research policy discussions in Brazil, Panama and Portugal, and have been promoted by Thomson Reuters, then owner of the Web of Science database.

The authors continue to track developments on the blog at leidenmanifesto.org.

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