Funnel plots for visualizing uncertainty in the research performance of institutions

10/30/2018
by   Giovanni Abramo, et al.
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Research performance values are not certain. Performance indexes should therefore be accompanied by uncertainty measures, to establish whether the performance of a unit is truly outstanding and not the result of random fluctuations. In this work we focus on the evaluation of research institutions on the basis of average individual performance, where uncertainty is inversely related to the number of research staff. We utilize the funnel plot, a tool originally developed in meta-analysis, to measure and visualize the uncertainty in the performance values of research institutions. As an illustrative example, we apply the funnel plot to represent the uncertainty in the assessed research performance for Italian universities active in biochemistry

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