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Making the grade

Italy’s national research evaluation is gradually gaining credibility among the country’s researchers, says Fabio Turone.

The results of Italy’s second national research evaluation have been published, and the country’s National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (Anvur) appears to have survived an initial allergic reaction from academics. From questioning the very idea of evaluation at the start, the relationship between the assessors and the assessed has become mostly cooperative.

Many problems remain with the exercise, alongside chronic underfunding of public universities and research institutions. But a basic culture of evaluation and healthy competition has started to seep into a system historically plagued by cronyism and lack of accountability.

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