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​​​​​A. Background & Definitions

Key performance indicators: Specific parameters and quality criteria that are defined in order to measure achievable milestones or to enable performance assessment about areas in a research unit (RU).

B. Guidance & Expactations

The success of research is very complex and difficult to measure; therefore, this topic can only be approached by indirect methods.

Each RU should define key performance indicators depending on the field of research and for specific areas, which are collected and evaluated in a document (LINK) once a year. These can be, for example:

  • number of open access publications,
  • number of registered reports,
  • number/percentage of blinded studies,
  • number of studies clearly documented in lab notebook,
  • randomization and sample size calculation included,
  • number of studies with raw data accessible in a public database,
  • the raising of funds,
  • the number of doctoral theses completed,
  • the number of participants in mandatory training courses,
  • the number of EQIPD self assessments per year, etc.

Generating suitable indicators is an ongoing process over many years, in which the process owner, "quality people", researchers and the department heads should be involved. Appropriate metrics must be easy to collect and meaningful.

As a rule, the key performance indicators are collected, checked and evaluated once a year by a dedicated person together with quality professionals, researchers involved in the implementation of the quality system and the process owner. By comparing the key performance indicators over the years, specific trends and information can be read off, so that negative trends can be countered at any time with suitable measures and positive trends can be strenghtened if desired.​


Defining and using suitable key performance indicators can be very tricky. Often, it will only become obvious after using them over a longer period which makes it necessary to review and adjust them periodically.

C. Resources


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