Răzvan Valentin Florian, Romania
Speech at the conference Technologies Transforming Research Assessment on March 19, 2014 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
In 2011, the higher education and research systems of Romania undertook major reforms that were praised by the European Commission and led to what Nature editorialists characterized as “exemplary laws and structures for science”. Research assessment was a key focus of these reforms. This included: introducing a habilitation process, for evaluating an individual’s research achievements in order to become eligible to apply for full professorship jobs in the universities; minimal scientometric standards for an individual’s eligibility for the various levels of faculty jobs in universities, and for the eligibility for submitting grant applications for the major research funding programmes; the assessment of grant applications, which started to use mostly foreign reviewers; a national assessment exercise for the classification of universities and for the ranking of the universities’ study programmes, for which research was a major component; and a national assessment of research institutions. I present the background and the constraints that led to the design of these research assessment processes, and I discuss the choices that have been made. I also discuss some new tools and processes for research assessment that were designed to solve some technical problems encountered during these processes.
Răzvan Valentin Florian is the founder of Epistemio, a startup aiming to improve how scientific publications are assessed. The company’s first product, Epistemio Outcomes, helps research groups and institutions to improve the management and reporting of their lists of scientific publications.
Dr. Florian has previously worked as a computational neuroscientist and served as the president of the Romanian Institute of Science and Technology, as a director of the Ad Astra association of Romanian scientists, as secretary of the Commission for the analysis and development of Romanian science and education policies (reporting to the President of Romania), and as a personal advisor to the Romanian minister of education and research during 2009-2011, a period when the country’s higher education and research systems undertook major reforms.