Research Evaluation and Governance : a Comparative Approach

Atlanta Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2011
Through a comparative study of the UK and Spain, this paper addresses the effect of different governance systems and administrative practices on the functioning and role of research evaluation. It distinguishes three main evaluation functions: learning, distributive and accountability. The flexible research management structure in the UK can respond to evaluation outcomes, and all three evaluation functions co-exist in a diversified, decentralized, evaluation system. Despite superficial similarities, the Spanish evaluation system plays an accountability function, and is administered by specialized evaluation agencies. This difference affects the ways that ?evaluation? is understood in the UK and Spain. This cannot be attributed to differential development in the respective ?evaluation cultures?, but rather to different research governance systems which affect the nature and scope of evaluation practice.