CFP: New Public Research Management: Curse or Boon?

Submission deadline: September 12, 2021

Topic areas


New Public Research Management: Curse or Boon?

Call for Papers

Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics – Special Research Topic

The past two decades have seen a trend towards the adoption of New Public Management (NPM) practices in academia and higher education. For instance, research output and institutions are increasingly marketized on social media platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn, quantitative indicators such as h-index and impact factor have been widely adopted for measuring research performance, and senior researchers are nowadays often primarily occupied with management tasks and hence have scarce capacities to contribute to actual research. Accordingly, fostering and exhibiting “management skills” is increasingly expected from academic researchers. While advocators of NPM argue that the adoption of such practices in academia fosters competition among individuals and institutions and thereby ultimately results in more and better research output, critical voices have raised concerns that it leads to a gamification of academia, where researchers primarily aim at optimizing scores such as h-index and the amount of acquired third party funding instead of pursuing ambitious but risky and hence potentially unsuccessful research projects.

In this Research Topic, we welcome studies and papers from all scientific disciplines (natural sciences, social sciences, political sciences, human sciences, life sciences, philosophy, the arts etc.), which critically engage with the prospects and dangers of NPM practices in academia and higher education. Any critical engagement, both negative and positive, is welcome, and we encourage submissions of both empirical and theoretical works. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, investigations into the following phenomena and trends on academia:

  • Predominance of fixed term contracts among early career researchers.
  • What is managerialism in higher education? How should it be properly defined?
  • Growing importance of quantitative indicators to evaluate research performance.
  • Growing importance of acquiring third party funding.
  • Branding and marketization of research output and research institutions on Twitter, LinkedIn,, ResearchGate, etc.
  • Importance of networking and self-marketing.
  • How, if at all, can higher education benefit from research management?
  • Managerialism and the university: What place, if any, is there for managerialism at universities?
  • How does research management influence research topics and agendas?
  • Encroachment of neoliberalism onto higher education.
  • Publish or perish: Pressure of publicly available publication profiles.

Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics is an open access journal dedicated to the study of measuring, evaluating, and improving the efficiency, reliability, and transparency of research and innovation in all areas of scientific inquiry and applications.


Manuscripts deadline:         12 September 2021

If you are interested in contributing to this research topic, please submit a paper via the following link:


Topic Editors

  • Dr. David B. Blumenthal, Chair of Experimental Bioinformatics, Technical University of Munich, Germany, [email protected]
  • Dr. Nicolas Boria, LAMSADE Laboratory, Paris-Dauphine University, France, [email protected] 
  • Dr. Thomas J. Spiegel, Department of Philosophy, University of Potsdam, Germany, [email protected] 
  • A.-Prof. Bruno Tinel, Sorbonne School of Economics, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, [email protected] 


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