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DN Debate. Put it down, the research councils of the universities best

Leading the Swedish research council (VR), Formas and Forte, Swedish universities will get higher quality in the research? Unfortunately, the answer is in the negative. Several surveys consistently show that the contribution from the VR does not give better quality results. Not even their own operations evaluation department has for 20 years been able to provide support to an argument for the advice. Much talking instead of rådssystemet leads to violent inefficiency of the Swedish research, to jävsförhållanden is introduced and the advice to most is to keep the major universities under the arms.

What is the result of this model? Then VR, Formas and Forte was established in 2001, the Swedish research remained at about the same level of performance with small variations. At the same time, the policy has gradually, greatly increased the resources available to councils. This increased power has not, however, resulted in positive effects. The gear ratio on the deposited resources are strikingly weak. Swedish articles is not addressed to a greater extent than in the past. Sweden remains at a relatively mediocre level. Now it is time to with a critical eye to evaluate the rådsmodellen. It does not deliver.

It is astounding that the competitive grant system as a whole has never been evaluated.

When as much as a fifth of the Swedish researchers ' work hours are added on to chase external money to be able to conduct research, the system has been in spin (Hwang, Research quality, effectiveness and external funding, 2018). Few applications are granted money. The effect is a massive frustration among the researchers in the country and a severe inefficiency when it comes to their use of time. Unfortunately, the Fredmanska Control and resursutredningens proposal (SOU 2019:6) if the balance between externally funded research and basanslag to be a half measure. Thus, our proposal is to completely put down the state research councils VR, Formas, Forte. It would change the conditions for the universities and give them the right of disposition over its own operations.

1 Countries that provide the perplexity, to his university and to the researchers ' faculties have proven to be more effective and get better results in international comparisons than Sweden. Councils, have disproportionate power over the Swedish research, at the same time, they lack the ability to be able to predict which research will be successful in the future (Sandström & Van den Besselaar, Journal of Informetrics, 2015).

the Confidence of the universities, of course, is a very fragile thing and can be destroyed with the esa (for example, Macchiarini affair). But overall university is a great way to organize the research and if the business be left in peace within a reasonable legal framework it is possible with high probability in the right direction.

2 A nuanced discussion about the actual effects is needed. media researchers pointed out early on that the competition for tv viewers certainly led to many channels but the obvious was that the competition only focused on a few segments of the market. At the same time, it also became clear that both the diversity and the quality deteriorated. The same also applies to other competitive markets, and the research is hardly an exception.

It is astounding that the competitive grant system as a whole has never been evaluated. The negative effects are well known – the tendency of mainstream research and aversion to risk-taking. The idea with the research councils were from the beginning to give recognized knowledgeable scientists extra resources regardless of what they wanted to do. Now rådsmodellen grown to a förgivettagen bureaucracy which counteracts their own idea. We believe that it is foolhardy for Sweden as a research nation to continue to maintain this rådsbyråkrati.

3 But these are not bodies controlled by the researchers themselves? Why discourage the representatives of the universities and colleges their own best interest? the Studies by Sandström & Hällsten (Scientometrics 2008) shows that the tendency to favor those that are located close together, for example by jävsförhållanden or close to the forecasters ' own focus, weighs so heavily that the representatives can not resist the temptation to add a word to what you are familiar with because it feels safe.

In the end, it is only one or a few candidates each member can vote on. In that situation beats närhetsmekanismerna to and on the way you choose away the best and most innovative researchers.

4 , Now to the nub of the issue – want the politicians to get rid of research councils that they can control and which they also control increasingly? We have a great understanding of that the politicians want to be able to control such an expensive and important activities as research, but there are other ways. The special bets on the applied research already takes place in the day. Control and resursutredningens proposal on dialog based agreements can be another option. Likely, there must be levels of how much will be swayed by a university's budget.

A proposal can be that no more than 10 percent of such budget may be touched by the political bets. A corrective in the form of bibliometric follow-up (of course, with regard to the conditions within the respective area of research, for example, the number of Swedish publications in the humanities) is necessary in the context, which can be handled by the independent central analysis function, as proposed in the Fredmanska the investigation. Departments can not be allowed to control the break research but should be given the task to keep running towards a better gear ratio on the deposited resources in the form of more successful research. Only it can give the policy any hands-on back in the longer term.

. There are much smoother ways to allocate research resources so that time is used more effectively and the research becomes more innovative and high-quality. How do we think us, then, that it should look instead?

It can be argued that research freedom will be substantially devoid of even more if they are distributed directly by the vice chancellors with their entourage on the respective higher education institution. This is a problem for which each university must find its own solution: by engaging external researchers in forskningsbedömningar may be a large part of the universities, the funds are distributed. More than three-page application – contrary to the research councils increasingly bizarre application system – likely not if the forecasters at the same time have access to ansökarnas most important publications.

higher education Institutions shall be given the opportunity to build areas of strategic development, viable environments and the sustainability of doctoral programmes with long-term funding for doctoral students. The institutions that manage the task most likely to develop the most significant research. Those who do not have it, but more based on the university and högskoleledningens favoritidéer, will be marginalised.

The analysis function as the Fredmanska the inquiry suggests need to be developed to continuously follow-up forskningsproduktionen . The winners of the bibliometric indicator used since 2009 is not least higher education institutions. The model should be developed and used. When the funds from the councils now will be distributed to the universities, it is not secure for your own distribution that should be the benchmark, but the bibliometric indicator. It gives a more accurate picture than the distribution to which councils have created. This would give smaller institutions a good boost – they are systematically disadvantaged by rådssystemet: they receive only 4 per cent of the funds but has 11% of the publications according to the bibliometric index!

; this is the time to develop a tillitsbaserad governance not just in fine words but also in deeds. Pluralism in the allocation, we avoid both the anxious furtive glances towards the research councils are ineffective and svårgenomskådade assessment processes, such as excessive power for headteachers. Only so can the research developed for the Swedish society beneficial way.

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