Research Assessment

Research Assessment

Research assessment is characterised by a series of regulations and criteria that allow for the forming of judgements as to the quality, impact, efficacy and efficiency of the research activities carried out by Italian universities and research institutes, in order to provide an at least partial guide for the Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca (MUR) (the Ministry of Universities and Research) in its investment choices in the research and higher education sector.

The MUR avails itself of the activities of the Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca (ANVUR) (the National Agency for the Assessment of Universities and Research) for the assessment of the quality of the research (VQR) of universities and research institutes. The activities of ANVUR include the definition of criteria and parameters for acquiring the so-called Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale (ASN) (the National Scientific Certificate), a necessary pre-requisite for those taking on the role of full or associate university professor.

The Scuola Normale pays great attention to the quality of the research carried out within its walls, and, in view of the assessment activities, undertakes to provide an efficient management of the products developed by its researchers. In this sense, the Scuola Normale recommends that their research personnel: 

Assessment of the quality of research - VQR 2020-2024

ANVUR has set in motion the new Valutazione della Qualità della Ricerca (VQR) (Assessment of Research Quality) activity with reference to the five-year period 2020-2024.

The Scuola Normale is a participant in the VQR 2020-2024 in its role as a university institution, submitting for assessment research products, knowledge enhancement activities (third mission/social impact) and international competitive projects.

Concerning research products, those involved in the assessment are researchers in service at the Scuola Normale as of 1st November 2024 with the following roles:

  • full professors;
  • associate professors;
  • researchers pursuant to Art. 24, paragraph 3, letters a) and b) of Law 240/2010;temporary researchers in Tenure Track (RTT) pursuant to Art. 24 of Law 240/2010 as modified by Law 79/2022;
  • permanent researchers, holders of contracts stipulated pursuant to Art. 1, paragraph 12, of Law No. 230 of 4th November 2005.

Among the products admitted for assessment indicated in Art. 5 of the VQR call are the following:

  • Scientific monographs and assimilated products, equipped with an ISBN, ISSN or ISMN code, and, if available, a DOI code;
  • Contributions to journals or volumes, or to conference proceedings equipped with an ISBN, ISMN or ISSN code and, if available, a DOI code;
  • Other types of scientific products such as Software or Databases;
  • Procedures, reports, scientific reports and technical notes;
  • Patents issued in the period of reference of the VQR.

The VQR 2020-2024 presents some innovations relating to the research products submitted for assessment:

  • the maximum number of products to be submitted corresponds to 2.5 times the number of researchers in service as of 1st November 2024 (no longer 3 times, as in the past);
  • each researcher must submit at least one product (with the exception of those cases specified in Art. 5, paragraph 7 of the call);
  • products will also be assessed of researchers belonging to institutions not participating in the VQR who attained their Ph.D. at the Scuola Normale between 2017 and 2023 and who, as of 1st November 2024, will be in service at Italian or overseas institutions, public administrations or companies.

The selection of the products to be assessed must be made by 28th February 2025, through the designated section of the Institutional repository of Scuola Normale Superiore IRIS: hence it is important for the researchers of the Scuola Normale to keep the archive updated with their research products.

In view of the assessment 2020-2024 activity, the Scuola Normale has also acquired support software for the assessment of the scientific production, subscribing to the CRUI contract for the five-year supplying of the Criterium software. The latter software accesses the data on scientific production of the Institutional repository of Scuola Normale Superiore IRIS and makes available, for both the bibliometric and the non-bibliometric areas, an assessment dashboard of the scientific production by means of the calculation of indicators (qualitative and quantitative) useful for the selection procedure.

Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale - ASN 2023-2025 (the National Scientific Certificate)

The Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale (ASN) (the National Scientific Certificate) is the necessary requirement for taking up the role of a university full or associated professor. The certificate is awarded to applicants in possession of the required requisites by means of assessment by national commissions.

The procedures for the selection of the commission members and for the conferring of the scientific certificate are announced periodically and defined with directorial decrees by the MUR. For the years 2023-2025 the following calls have been issued:

Applicants for commission members must be full professors; they may submit their applications from 3 p.m. of 1st August 2023 up to and no later than 3 p.m. of 15th September 2023.

Applicants for qualification as full and associate professors may submit one or more applications for more than one band (fascia) and one recruitment field with the following schedule:

  1. 1st term: from 2nd November 2023 until and no later than 3 p.m. of 4th March 2024;
  2. 2nd term: from 5th March 2024 until and no later than 3 p.m. of 4th July 2024;
  3. 3rd term: from 5th July 2024 until and no later than 3 p.m. of 5th November 2024.

In both cases, applicants are obliged, among other things:

  1. for the bibliometric recruitment fields:
    1. to indicate any publications useful for the calculation of the scientific production impact indicators;
    2. to associate them correctly to the WOS and/or SCOPUS codes and to convalidate the association;
  2. for the non-bibliometric recruitment fields:
    1. to indicate any publications useful for the calculation of the scientific production impact indicators;
    2. to attach for each of the above a .PDF copy or other documentation (such as an OPAC sheet) attesting:
      1. for articles in scientific journals: author, year of publication and ISSN code; 
      2. for contributions to volumes and for books (excluding curatorships: author, year of publication and ISBN or ISMN code.

Applications must be submitted exclusively through the “ASN” section of the website LoginMIUR, which is connected to the Institutional repository of Scuola Normale Superiore IRIS and receives from it metadata and files of archived and validated publications: the publications to be submitted to evaluation for ASN purposes are selected from among those present in LoginMIUR.

Before submitting an application on the website LoginMIUR, applicants for both commission members and professors may, in addition, utilise the self-assessment tools present within the Institutional repository of Scuola Normale Superiore IRIS and in the assessment support software adopted by the Scuola Normale, Criterium. Both systems base the simulations on the research products stored in the IRIS Archive and allow for simulations relating to the applicant’s scientific production in relation to the ASN 2023-2025 thresholds of the applicant’s SC/SSD.