The differing meanings of indicators under different policy contexts. The case of internationalisation

09/23/2019 ∙ by Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, et al. ∙ 0

In this chapter we build upon Moed's conceptual contributions on the importance of the policy context when using and interpreting scientometric indicators. We focus on the use of indicators in research evaluation regarding internationalisation policies. The globalization of higher education presents important challenges to institutions worldwide, which are confronted with tensions derived from the need to respond both, to their local necessities and demands while participating in global networks. In this context, indicators have served as measures for monitoring and enforcing internationalisation policies, in many cases interpreting them regardless of the policy context in which they are enforced. We will analyse three examples of indicators related to internationalisation. The first one is about international collaborations, under the assumption that a greater number of internationally co-authored publications will benefit a national science system as it will result in higher citation impact. The second one relates to the promotion of English language as the dominant language of science. The third case analyses how different policy contexts shape the selection and construction of indicators, sometimes in a partial way which does not properly reflect the phenomenon under study. The examples illustrate that the interpretation and policy implications of the 'same' S&T indicators differ depending on specific contexts.



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