The New Research Assessment Reform in China and Its Implementation



A radical reform of research assessment was recently launched in China. It seeks to replace a focus on Web of Science-based indicators with a balanced combination of qualitative and quantitative research evaluation, and to strengthen the local relevance of research in China. It trusts the institutions to implement the policy within a few months but does not provide the necessary national platforms for coordination, influence and collaboration on developing shared tools and information resources and for agreement on definitions, criteria and protocols for the procedures. Based on international experiences, this article provides constructive ideas for the implementation of the new policy.


Policy highlights

In response to the three main messages of the new policy, we suggest these possible solutions for the implementation:

  • Farewell to “SCI worship”: With the move away from Web of Science as a standard, an integrated research information system and a national journal evaluation system is needed.
  • From metrics to peer review: The function and weight of peer-review evaluation needs to be differentiated between the levels of the research system: individuals, units, institutions, and national agencies.
  • New priority to local relevance: The optimal balance between globalization and local relevance must be allowed to differ by type and field of research.


Research evaluationResearch policyPeer reviewBibliometric IndicatorsJournal evaluationResearch information systemResearch integrityChina
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 3
  • DOI: 10.29024/sar.15
  • Submitted on 1 Apr 2020
  • Accepted on 23 Apr 2020
  • Published on 12 May 2020
  • Peer Reviewed