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How Do NIHR Peer Review Panels Use Bibliometric Information to Support Their Decisions? | RAND
Bibliometrics is widely used as an evaluation tool to assist prospective R&D decision-making. In the UK, for example, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has employed bibliometric analysis alongside wider information in several awarding panels for major funding schemes. In this paper, we examine various aspects of the use of bibliometric information by members of these award selection panels, based on interviews with ten panel members from three NIHR panels, alongside analysis of the information provided to those panels. The aim of the work is to determine what influence bibliometrics has on their decision-making, to see which types of bibliometric measures they find more and less useful, and to identify the challenges they have when using these data. We find that panel members broadly support the use of bibliometrics in panel decision-making, and that the data are primarily used in the initial individual assessment of candidates, playing a smaller role in the selection panel meeting. Panel members felt that the most useful measures of performance are normalised citation scores and the number or proportion of papers in the most highly cited X% (e.g. 5, 10%) for the field. Panel members expressed concerns around the comparability of bibliometrics between fields, but the discussion suggested this largely represents a lack of understanding of bibliometric techniques, confirming that effective background information is important. Based on the evidence around panel behaviour and concerns, we set out guidance around providing bibliometrics to research funding panels.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.
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yesterday by dougleigh
Feature Essay: What Does the Future Hold for Academic Books? by Marilyn Deegan (Academic Book of the Future Project) | LSE Review of Books
The pressure of ever-increasing teaching loads and time-consuming assessment regimes has reduced the capacity of many academics to undertake the sustained research and thinking needed to produce the very best monographs
academia  Research  publishing  UK 
yesterday by miaridge
Legal cannabis laws impact teen use -- ScienceDaily
A new study by researchers at Dartmouth has found that adolescents living in medical marijuana states with a plethora of dispensaries are more likely to have tried new methods of cannabis use, such as edibles and vaping, at a younger age than those living in states with fewer dispensaries. The study will appear in the August issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

"This study was driven by two motivations -- the need to understand if and how the shifting legal landscape of cannabis may affect kids, and the potential utility of social media as an epidemiological sampling method," says Jacob Borodovsky, a PhD candidate at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, and the lead author of the study. "If it is true that certain components of legalization change the way young people use cannabis, then we need to devote more resources to understanding the important consequences (good or bad) of the specific provisions included in the diverse cannabis laws that are emerging across the country."

Borodovsky and colleagues examined associations between provisions of legal cannabis laws (such as allowing dispensaries, home cultivation, etc.) and cannabis consumption patterns among youth using online surveys distributed through Facebook, which proved to be a reliable method for generating geographically diverse samples of specific subgroups of cannabis-using youth.

"Our data suggest a relationship between the degree of regulatory oversight of legal cannabis and kids' propensity for trying new ways of using cannabis," Borodovsky says. "I think we need to start having a broader national conversation about how best to design the production and distribution regulations for legal cannabis to mitigate potential public health harms."

As cannabis legalization rapidly evolves, in both medical and recreational usage, understanding the laws' effect on young people is crucial because this group is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of marijuana and possesses an inherent elevated risk of developing a cannabis disorder.

"Using social media to disseminate web surveys is a useful epidemiological research method. It allows us to quickly collect geographically diverse data on cannabis-related questions that aren't asked in the traditional federally-sponsored drug use surveys," Borodovsky says. "My hope is that we can use these and other types of results to create rational legal cannabis laws that are based on data rather than anecdotes."

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Materials provided by The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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yesterday by dougleigh

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