Research is a team effort. Scholars distribute roles based on the different research activities they perform. These roles shape the academic profile that will define them during their career trajectory. These roles will also change as they acquire experience and seniority. Some scientists coordinate, design and lead research agendas; others develop and produce new tools and software for data collection and processing; others develop conceptual and theoretical frameworks; others engage with non-academic stakeholders and bridge with societal demands.

However, most research evaluation schemes consider career paths as homogeneous, promoting ‘scientific excellence’ and ‘academic leadership’ as the main and desired profile researchers should aim at, without considering the underlying diversity of roles and activities. To unveil this diversity of academic profiles and career options scientists have, we aim to provide novel insights into different professional paths and skills necessary in scientific research. This is an essential step towards developing more nuanced and advanced research evaluation approaches, maximizing researchers’ strengths and acknowledging the heterogeneity needed in the scientific workforce to promote a healthy and sustainable research system, compared to the monotonous situation that currently exists. This project, funded by the LEaDing MSCA COFund Programme, aims at developing more nuanced and novel techniques to assess scientists’ performance and better understand how they organize themselves, collaborate and distribute roles in the ecosystem of science .

Latest news on the project

  • New preprint out! Valuation regimes in academia
    Check our latest preprint from a multiple case-study of five departments combining CV analysis and semi-structured interviews. Here is the preprint: Robinson-Garcia, Nicolas, Rodrigo Costas, Tina Nane, and Thed N. van Leeuwen. 2021. Valuation regimes in academia: Researchers’ attitudes towards their diversity of activities and academic performance. SocArXiv.
  • The unintended consequences of task specialization in research careers
    DISCLAIMER: This is a blog post written originally for the Leiden Madtrics blog in which we summarize our findings in our most recent paper published in eLife. The original blog post can be accessed here. Researchers collaborate specializing in specific tasks. However, the research evaluation system only rewards specific profiles of researchers, threatening the diversity  […]

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  1. […] study is part of the wider ‘Unveiling the Ecosystem of Science’ project, which aims to systematically analyse the diversity of profiles in science, with the […]

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