July 5, 2012
From 1999 to 2009, Linda Butler was head of the Research Evaluation and Policy Project, established in the Australian National University (ANU) in 1994. Prior to that, she was a founding member of its predecessor, the Performance Indicators Project, set up by Professor Paul Bourke in 1988. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at ANU and has a Conjoint Professorial appointment at the University of Newcastle.
Ms. Butler is Australia’s leading expert in bibliometric analysis, and has undertaken detailed studies using the international journal literature to judge Australia’s standing in research, and to identify its institutional and disciplinary areas of strength and weakness. Her findings on the effects of using publication counts to determine the distribution of research funding to universities have had significant public policy impact.
Ms. Butler’s expertise is widely sought in assessing the impact of research, both in Australia and internationally. She chaired the Department of Education, Science and Training’s Research Quality Framework (RQF) Metrics Working Group, and also advised the Australian Research Council on its successor, the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative.
In addition to providing policy advice for the RQF and ERA, Ms. Butler is a member of the Higher Education Funding Council of England’s Framework Agreement that was established to support the development of a new research assessment and funding system in the United Kingdom (UK). Ms. Butler has also recently completed a literature review for the OECD on the impacts of performance-based funding systems. She has been a member of working groups established to devise measures of research impact and achievement for Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Ms. Butler is on the editorial committee of Scientometrics and Research Evaluation, and has given a number of presentations at major international conferences, most recently in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, and Japan.