To publish or not to publish? On the aggregation and drivers of research performance

Kristof De Witte, Nicky Rogge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper presents a methodology to aggregate multidimensional research output. Using a tailored version of the non-parametric data envelopment analysis model, we account for the large heterogeneity in research output and the individual researcher preferences by endogenously weighting the various output dimensions. The approach offers three important advantages compared to the traditional approaches: (1) flexibility in the aggregation of different research outputs into an overall evaluation score; (2) a reduction of the impact of measurement errors and a-typical observations; and (3) a correction for the influences of a wide variety of factors outside the evaluated researcher’s control. As a result, research evaluations are more effective representations of actual research performance. The methodology is illustrated on a data set of all faculty members at a large polytechnic university in belgium. The sample includes questionnaire items on the motivation and perception of the researcher. This allows us to explore whether motivation and background characteristics (such as age, gender, retention, etc.,) of the researchers explain variations in measured research performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-680
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Research performance
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Conditional efficiency
  • Higher education
  • Composite indicator

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