Proposed methodology for measuring the effectiveness of policies designed to further research Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2020

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 15


  • 2020

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0958-2029

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-5449


  • The effects of economic incentives on research have been widely debated in the literature. Some authors deem them to have no or even an adverse impact, particularly, if they are perceived as irrelevant to or an attempt to control researcher activity, whilst others believe they enhance research productivity by inducing new habits such as international collaboration or publication in high-impact journals. In 2007, the Carlos III University of Madrid introduced bonuses associated with research merits to reward research and educational excellence. The policy aims to enhance the quantity and quality of the institution's scholarly publications. This study analyses whether and to what extent the new policy has had a potential effect on scientific output, impact, and visibility. Scientific activity indicators between 1991 and 2018 were analysed and a state-space model was used to establish possible scenarios (pre- and post-bonus periods) and 3 year predictions. Further to the findings, despite weak growth in researcher staff size, the number of papers rose during the period slightly more than in the pre-bonus simulation. The number of first-quartile papers also rose substantially, attesting to higher impact and visibility of the university's research. Greater internationalization was also observed. The incentives were found to be highly suggestive of a change in university researchers' publication habits.


  • economic incentives; incentive policy; state-space model; carlos iii university of madrid