Research Quality Assessment and Planning Journals. The Italian Perspective.

Bruno Zanon


Assessment of research products is a crucial issue for universities and research institutions faced with internationalization and competition. Disciplines are reacting differently to this challenge, and planning, in its various forms – from urban design to process­oriented sectors – is under strain because the increasingly common assessment procedures based on the number of articles published in ranked journals and on citation data are not generally accepted. The reputation of journals, the impact of publications, and the profiles of scholars are increasingly defined by means of indexes such as impact factor and citations counts, but these metrics are questioned because they do not take account of all journals and magazines – in particular those published in languages other than English – and they do not consider teaching and other activities typical of academics and which have a real impact on planning practices at the local level. In Italy the discussion is particularly heated because assessment procedures are recent, the disciplinary community is not used to publishing in ranked international journals, and the Italian literature is not attuned to the international quality criteria. The paper reviews the recent debate on planning journals and research assessment. It focuses on the Italian case from the perspective of improving current practices.


Italian Planning; Italy; Environmental Planning; Development Control; Development Plans; Strategic Plans; Strategic Environmental Asse

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ISSN: 2239-267X

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