Validating research

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All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete.

Interest in and demand for the evaluation of research is increasing internationally.

This is linked to a growing accountability agenda, driven by the demand for good governance and management growing in profile on national and international stages and fiscal austerity in a number of countries.

Validity As described elsewhere, the validity of an instrument is whether or not it measures accurately what it is intended to measure.

This is important if the results of a study are to be meaningful and relevant to the wider population.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph series.

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Finding information on the Internet is only one part of your research: assessing the quality and timeliness of that information is the other.

Not only can it be a waste of time to read through a site and implement the information and suggestions found there, only to later find that they were inaccurate, but such sites may pose a health or safety problem if that information directly affects your health and safety or that of your family, pets, employees, co-workers, or clients. We may be looking for entertainment, or information on a specific subject, or just browsing, following interesting links as they come our way.

There is a need to show that policymaking is evidence based and, particularly in the current economic climate, to demonstrate accountability for the investment of public funds in research.

This is complemented by a shift in emphasis from purely summative evaluations, which have traditionally characterised the assessment of research, to more formative evaluations, as well as more comprehensive evaluations that cover wider outputs from research outside the standard measures, such as numbers and quality of publications.

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