Peter Van den Besselaar

Peter Van den Besselaar
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | VU · Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Societal Resilience & Network Institute

Professor

About

243
Publications
97,945
Reads
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4,176
Citations
Citations since 2017
54 Research Items
2041 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300
20172018201920202021202220230100200300
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
TMC Research
Position
  • Senior Researcher
June 2009 - December 2019
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor (Full)
June 2005 - June 2010
University of Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
September 1996 - September 1996
University of Amstedam, Faculty of Psychology
Field of study
  • Informatics

Publications

Publications (243)
Article
Full-text available
The mission of academic excellence has resulted in a science system that incentivises publications within high impact, often basic science journals, and less in application-oriented journals. For the dental research field this so-called academic drift can result in a research portfolio that moves away from research that serves dental healthcare. Th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we use an event history analysis to investigate whether grants do have an effect on appointments as full professor, and whether there are gender differences in career success. After controlling for several variables (academic performance, faculty, academic age, cum laude), we found that grants and gender do have an effect, and the o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Independence‟ is a core criterion in selecting grant or job applicants. In this paper we develop –after a theoretical introduction – a few indicators for independence that can be calculated also for large sets of applicants. After having done so, we apply the indicators to two cases of prestigious early career grants. We end with ideas for follow-u...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Language use can be interpreted as an expression of opinions and attitudes of the speaker or author, and therefore studying language use can inform us about social phenomena. The many texts produced within the science system science are no exception: peer review reports of scientific articles, evaluation reports used within selection processes for...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gender bias in grant allocation is a deviation from the principle that scientific merit should guide grant decisions. However, most studies on gender bias in grant allocation focus on gender differences in success rates, without including variables that measure merit. This study has two main contributions. Firstly, it includes several merit variabl...
Article
Full-text available
Why are some research grant applications selected for funding while others are not? In this paper we investigate whether the writing style of grant applications influences the evaluation scores and the decisions by selection panels. A linguistic analysis of the grant proposal abstract, the project description and the CV of the applicant does reveal...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Gender bias in selection panels for positions and grants has been studied intensively over the last decades. However, apart from comparing review scores received by men and women, we do not know much about how panel composition, procedures and processes influence selection. This is an omission, as decision making on grants and academic positions is...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The claim that a glass ceiling exists within academia is generally based on the fact that the higher the academic rank, the lower the share of women within that rank: The share of women among PhD students is higher than the share of women among postdocs, and that is again higher than the share of women among assistant professors. The share of women...
Technical Report
Awards and prizes are important aspects of a researcher's reputation. A Dutch example is the Cum Laude award for doctoral dissertations, which only 5% of the PhD students receive. In this report we investigate whether there is gender bias in awarding Cum Laude, and we do find that it is the case: After controlling for the quality of the thesis, men...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper investigates what factors affect the performance of research teams. We combine survey data about the teams with bibliometric data about the performance of the teams. The analysis shows that teams with more than one PI (principle investigator) perform better than single PI teams – after controlling for team size. On the other hand, gende...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Why are some research grant applications selected for funding and others not? In this paper we investigate whether the writing style influences the evaluation scores and the decision of selection panels. A linguistic analysis of the grant proposal abstract, the project description and the CV of the applicant do reveal several characteristics of the...
Article
Full-text available
Matching entities between datasets is a crucial step for combining multiple datasets on the semantic web. A rich literature exists on different approaches to this entity resolution problem. However, much less work has been done on how to assess the quality of such entity links once they have been generated. Evaluation methods for link quality are t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Nepotism or cronyism is a critical issue, as the expectation is that grants are given to the best researchers, and not to applicants that are socially, organizationally, or topic-wise nearby the decision-makers. In this paper, we investigate the effect of organizational proximity (defined as when the applicant has the same current and/or future aff...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gender bias in grant allocation is a deviation from the principle that scientific merit should guide grant decisions. However, most studies on gender bias in grant allocation have not included any merit variable, and focus on gender differences in success rates. This study has two main contributions. Firstly, it includes several merit variables, an...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluation of research uses peer review and bibliometrics, and the debate about their balance in research evaluation continues. Both approaches have supporters, and both approaches are criticized. In this paper, we describe an interesting case in which the use of bibliometrics in a panel-based evaluation of a mid-sized university was systematically...
Conference Paper
Computer-based voting as a field of research and societal debate emerged in the early 2000s. Starting in the ‘old democracies’ in Europe and North America, it has spread to other parts of the world. The question is whether research and the academic debate on electronic voting is related to the socio- political context in which it takes place. In or...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Computer-based voting as a field of research and societal debate emerged in the early 2000s. Starting in the ‘old democracies’ in Europe and North America, it has spread to other parts of the world. The question is whether research and the academic debate on electronic voting is related to the socio- political context in which it takes place. In or...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It is often argued that the presence of stakeholders in review panels may improve the selection of socially relevant research projects. In this paper, we investigate whether the composition of panels indeed matters. More precisely, when stakeholders are in the panel, does that result in more positive evaluation of proposals of relevance to that sta...
Presentation
Full-text available
Gender bias in grant selection is of increasing interest, thus what factors can explain this gender bias? Using a life science case we identify five mechanisms: gendered criteria, suboptimal peer evaluation in general, gender stereotyping, gendered evaluation practices and panel composition.
Article
Full-text available
Bibliometric indicators are increasingly used to evaluate individual scientists-as is exemplified by the popularity of the many other publication and citation-based indicators used in evaluation. These indicators, however, cover at best some of the quality dimensions relevant for assessing a researcher: productivity and impact. At the same time, re...
Data
Collaboration data. Data files used to calculate ego network measures. (XLSX)
Data
Topic data. Data files used to calculate the share of independent research topics. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
In 2018, the Netherlands Journal of Dentistry (NTVT) had been published for 125 years: reason for a systematic look at the subjects that have received attention since 2000. These subjects were subsequently compared to those in Dutch dental publications in international literature and to leading fields in oral health care. The analysis revealed an i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
(An updated and extended (not only life sciences) version is also available on this ResearchGate page: Gender bias and grant allocation – a mixed picture) ABSTRACT: To explain lower success rates of female applicants in ERC grants, we collected data about past performance of the applicants, and we interviewed panel members about how selection crit...
Preprint
Full-text available
The concept of interdisciplinarity lacks theoretical understanding, and consequently, the number of indicators for interdisciplinarity is booming: out of field citations, betweenness centrality, or the set coherence, diversity, mediation, to mention a few. However, these indicators focus on characteristics of papers and journals, without referring...
Article
In a recent paper (Sandström & van den Besselaar, 2016), we argued that publishing many papers is important as there is a significant positive relation between quantity (the number of papers: P) and quality (the number of top cited papers: P10%). Jonas Lindahl (2018) takes the analysis a step further by including an additional variable: the number...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nepotism or cronyism is an important issue, as the expectation is that grants are given to the best researchers, and not to applicants that are socially, organizationally, or topic-wise near the decision-makers. We investigate the effect of organizational proximity (defined as the applicant having the same current and/or future institutional affili...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bibliometric indicators are increasingly used at the individual level-as is exemplified by the popularity of the H-index and many other publication and citation based indicators used in evaluation. The issue isn't whether these indicators can be considered useful, as they do provide a description of a researcher's oeuvre. However, at the same time,...
Chapter
The concentration of people, companies, research organizations and other activities in urban areas is a key process in the development of economies and societies. In order to investigate how these urban systems function, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) in collaboration with EC (European Commission) and Eurostat hav...
Article
This paper presents coping mechanisms that address competing institutional logics in University-Business Co-operation (UBC). We examined academics at two Indonesian universities and in two science fields, computer science and electrical engineering. Our findings suggest that the level of the integration of business and science logic determines thei...
Article
Full-text available
Peer and panel review are the dominant forms of grant decision-making, despite its serious weaknesses as shown by many studies. This paper contributes to the understanding of the grant selection process through a linguistic analysis of the review reports. We reconstruct in that way several aspects of the evaluation and selection process: what dimen...
Chapter
Accidental knowledge discoveries occur most frequently during capricious and unplanned search and browsing of data. This type of undirected, random, and exploratory search and browsing of data results in Serendipity – the art of unsought finding. In our previous work we extracted a set of serendipity-fostering design features for developing intelli...
Conference Paper
Nepotism or cronyism is an important issue, as the expectation is that grants are given to the best researchers and not to socially, organizationally, or topic-wise near applicants. In this exploratory paper, we investigate the effect of organizational proximity (defined as the applicant having the same current and/or future institutional affiliati...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the quality of science systems requires international comparative studies, which are difficult because of the lack of comparable data especially about inputs in research. In this study, we deploy an approach based on change instead of on levels of inputs and outputs: an approach that to a large extent eliminates the problem of measure...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Linking between entities in different datasets is a crucial element of the Semantic Web architecture, since those links allow us to integrate datasets without having to agree on a uniform vocabulary. However, it is widely acknowledged that the owl:sameAs construct is too blunt a tool for this purpose. It entails full equality between two resources...
Conference Paper
Serendipity, the art of making an unsought finding plays also an important role in the emerging field of data science, allowing the discovery of interesting and valuable facts not initially sought for. Previous research has extracted many serendipity-fostering patterns applicable to digital data-driven systems. Linked Open Data (LOD) on the Web whi...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of a shared attitude in organizations can be regarded as a self-organizing complex process in which a majority attitude emerges from the ensemble of interactions among individuals. Almost by definition, emerging processes seem beyond the control of management, which is in conflict with the task of management to steer an organization....
Technical Report
Full-text available
SYNTHESYS3 is an EU FP7-funded Integrated Activities project which aims to create an accessible, integrated European resource for researchers in the Natural Sciences. The Joint Research Activity (JRA) is one of its three main activities, and aims to improve the quality of and increase access to digital collections and data within natural history in...
Conference Paper
This paper does not exist - it is here by mistake. But I cannot remove it for some reason. But when interested, the following paper is relevant: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344461914 - which is also on ResearchGate. Best regards, Peter van den Besselaar
Article
Full-text available
A recent paper in this journal compares the Norwegian model of using publications counts for university funding with a similar intervention in Australia in the mid-1990 s. The authors argue that the Norwegian model (taking into account the quality of publications) performs better than the Australian (which did neglect paper quality other than being...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The selection of grant applications generally is based on peer and panel review, but as shown in many studies, the outcome of this process does not only depend on the scientific merit or excellence, but also on social factors, and on the way the decision-making process is organized. A major criticism on the peer review process is that it is inheren...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The development of a pool of researchers is one of the four pillars of European research policy (cooperation, ideas, people, capacities) 1. The EU has addressed this task primarily through the European Framework programmes for research and technological development. These programmes are the financial tool for implementing the EU research policy and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evaluating whether a portfolio of funded research projects (of a research council), or a portfolio of research papers (the output of a university) is relevant for science and for society required two-dimensional mapping of the project portfolio: (i) projecting the portfolio on a science map showing how the portfolio fits into and possibly shapes th...
Article
Full-text available
It is often argued that female researchers publish on average less than male researchers do, but male and female authored papers have an equal impact. In this paper we try to better understand this phenomenon by (i) comparing the share of male and female researchers within different productivity classes, and (ii) by comparing productivity whereas c...
Article
More than ten years ago, Linda Butler (2003a) published a well-cited article claiming that the Australian science policy in the early 1990s made a mistake by introducing output based funding. According to Butler, the policy stimulated researchers to publish more but at the same time less good papers, resulting in lower total impact of Australian re...
Article
Full-text available
Do highly productive researchers have significantly higher probability to produce top cited papers? Or do high productive researchers mainly produce a sea of irrelevant papers—in other words do we find a diminishing marginal result from productivity? The answer on these questions is important, as it may help to answer the question of whether the in...
Data
Confidence intervals (95%) for the mean number / share of CSS3 papers per field and by productivity class. (PDF)
Article
The idea of constructing science maps based on bibliographic data has intrigued researchers for decades, and various techniques have been developed to map the structure of research disciplines. Most science mapping studies use a single method. However, as research fields have various properties, a valid map of a field should actually be composed of...
Chapter
The study in this chapter aimed to explore the perception of university managers and academics towards incentives and obstacles of university-business co-operation. For this purpose, case studies were conducted in a public and a private university in Indonesia. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with university managers: Universi...
Article
Full-text available
Bibliometric methods depend heavily on the quality of data, and cleaning and disambiguating data are very time-consuming. Therefore, quite some effort is devoted to the development of better and faster tools for disambiguating of the data (e.g., Gurney et al. 2012). Parallel to this, one may ask to what extent data cleaning is needed, given the int...
Article
Full-text available
We take up the issue of performance differences between male and female researchers, and investigate the change of performance differences during the early career. In a previous paper it was shown that among starting researchers gendered performance differences seem small to non-existent (Van Arensbergen et al. 2012). If the differences do not occu...
Article
Full-text available
Do highly productive researchers have significantly higher probability to produce top cited papers? Or does the increased productivity in science only result in a sea of irrelevant papers as a perverse effect of competition and the increased use of indicators for research evaluation and accountability focus? We use a Swedish author disambiguated da...
Article
Full-text available
The main rationale behind career grants is helping top talent to develop into the next generation leading scientists. Does career grant competition result in the selection of the best young talents? In this paper we investigate whether the selected applicants are indeed performing at the expected excellent level – something that is hardly investiga...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Do highly productive researchers have significantly higher probability to produce top cited papers? Or does the increased productivity in science only result in a sea of irrelevant papers as a perverse effect of competition and the increased use of indicators for research evaluation and accountability focus? We use a Swedish author disambiguated da...
Article
Full-text available
Bibliometric studies often measure and compare scholarly performance, but they rarely investigate why universities, departments, and research groups do have different performance. In this paper we try to explain differences in scholarly performance of research groups in terms of organizational variables. In order to do this, we extensively review t...
Article
Full-text available
This micro-level study explores the extent that citation analysis provides an accurate and representative assessment of the use and impact of bioinformatics e-research infrastructure. The bioinformatic e-research infrastructure studied offers common tools used by life scientists to analyse and interpret genetic and protein sequence information. The...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The vice chancellor of Delft University of Technology, Prof.dr.ir. J. Fokkema, introduced a pilot Evaluating Research in Context (ERiC) at the Faculty of Architecture. The Faculty of Architecture perceives a serious confl ict between the demands and criteria in evaluation procedures and the ambition to be relevant for the practice of architecture,...
Article
Full-text available
There is a growing body of literature on the importance of proximity for innovation and other knowledge-related outcomes. We examine the impact of geographical, social, organisational, and cognitive proximity for a heterogeneous population, including people from academia, knowledge institutes, industry, and government. We analyse data on 1020 ego–a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A growing interest for the use of international funding data in relation to scientific output highlights that efficiency at the research system level is a complex research question. As pointed out by many scholars already the OECD expenditure indicators are problematic. Not to mention the problem of how to account for research output. In this paper...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we study the evaluation of talented early career researchers, as done in grant allocation processes. To better understand funding decisions, we studied the grant allocation process in more detail, and compared the notion of talent in grant allocation with more general notions of talent existing in the academic work environment. The...
Article
Full-text available
Talent selection within science is increasingly performed by panels, e.g. by reviewing grant or fellowship applications. Many studies from fields of sociology of science and science policy studies have been conducted to identify biases and predict outcomes of these processes, mainly focusing on characteristics of applicants, applications, and revie...