, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 17–30 | Cite as

Science indicators as reliable evidence

  • Irwin Feller
  • George Gamota


Science indicators are increasingly used in policy-making. However, failure to relate interpretations of specific measures to the historical development of science can lead to errors in assessing past investments and in prioritizing future investments. This article outlines some of these sources of error, and argues for the more systematic use of historical evidence in the formulation of science policy.


Science Policy Reliable Evidence Science Indicator Small Business Innovation Research Past Investment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Feller’s work was supported by Department of Energy–Office of Science Award DE-AC02-ER 30318 and by grants from Atlantic Philanthropies. Gamota’s work has been supported by the DOE. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the OECD Workshop on Measuring the Impacts of Science, held in Montreal in 2004. We have benefited considerably from discussions with William Valdez and Paul Stern and the comments of Minerva’s Editor, Roy MacLeod, and referees.

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Association for the Advancement of ScienceState CollegeUSA
  2. 2.STMA-LCCLexingtonUSA

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