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Comprehensive Researcher Achievement Model (CRAM): a framework for measuring researcher achievement, impact and influence derived from a systematic literature review of metrics and models


Braithwaite, J and Herkes, J and Churruca, K and Long, JC and Pomare, C and Boyling, C and Bierbaum, M and Clay-Williams, R and Rapport, F and Shih, P and Hogden, A and Ellis, LA and Ludlow, K and Austin, E and Seah, R and McPherson, E and Hibbert, PD and Westbrook, J, Comprehensive Researcher Achievement Model (CRAM): a framework for measuring researcher achievement, impact and influence derived from a systematic literature review of metrics and models, BMJ Open, 9 pp. 1-10. ISSN 2044-6055 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use.

DOI: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025320


Objectives: Effective researcher assessment is key to decisions about funding allocations, promotion and tenure. We aimed to identify what is known about methods for assessing researcher achievements, leading to a new composite assessment model.

Design: We systematically reviewed the literature via the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols framework.

Data sources: All Web of Science databases (including Core Collection, MEDLINE and BIOSIS Citation Index) to the end of 2017.

Eligibility criteria: (1) English language, (2) published in the last 10 years (2007–2017), (3) full text was available and (4) the article discussed an approach to the assessment of an individual researcher’s achievements.

Data extraction and synthesis: Articles were allocated among four pairs of reviewers for screening, with each pair randomly assigned 5% of their allocation to review concurrently against inclusion criteria. Inter-rater reliability was assessed using Cohen’s Kappa (ĸ). The ĸ statistic showed agreement ranging from moderate to almost perfect (0.4848–0.9039). Following screening, selected articles underwent full-text review and bias was assessed.

Results: Four hundred and seventy-eight articles were included in the final review. Established approaches developed prior to our inclusion period (eg, citations and outputs, h-index and journal impact factor) remained dominant in the literature and in practice. New bibliometric methods and models emerged in the last 10 years including: measures based on PageRank algorithms or ‘altmetric’ data, methods to apply peer judgement and techniques to assign values to publication quantity and quality. Each assessment method tended to prioritise certain aspects of achievement over others.

Conclusions: All metrics and models focus on an element or elements at the expense of others. A new composite design, the Comprehensive Researcher Achievement Model (CRAM), is presented, which supersedes past anachronistic models. The CRAM is modifiable to a range of applications.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Measurement of researcher achievement; model
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hogden, A (Dr Anne Hogden)
ID Code:137196
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Australian Institute of Health Service Management
Deposited On:2020-02-05
Last Modified:2021-07-06
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