Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This review of the international literature on evaluation systems, evaluation practices, and metrics (mis)uses was written as part of a larger review commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to inform their independent assessment of the role of metrics in research evaluation (2014-5). The literature on evaluation systems, practices, and effects of indicator uses is extremely heterogeneous: it comprises hundreds of sources published in different media, spread over disciplines, and with considerable variation in the nature of the evidence. A condensation of the state-of-the-art in relevant research is therefore highly timely. Our review presents the main strands in the literature, with a focus on empirical materials about possible effects of evaluation exercises, 'gaming' of indicators, and strategic responses by scientific communities and others to requirements in research assessments. In order to increase visibility and availability, an adapted and updated review is presented here as a stand-alone-after authorization by HEFCE.

Original publication




Journal article


Research Evaluation

Publication Date





161 - 169