«TRENDS» discussed plans to launch an index for rating scientific output of think tanks



#Dr. Mohammed Al-Ali, CEO of TRENDS Research and Advisory:

-The index supports research and knowledge excellence and promote innovation and leadership.

-Rating index creates a competitive environment that improves the quality of scientific production of think tanks.




TRENDS Research and Advisory discussed its plans to launch an index to rate the scientific research and knowledge outputs of research institutions and think tanks. This effort comes in cooperation with TRENDS’ partners in a number of prestigious international universities. Multiple ratings shall be done according to the areas of specialization and interest of research institutions.

Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Ali, CEO of TRENDS Research and Advisory, discussed the matter in a meeting, which included the sector heads, department managers, experts and researchers. The meeting discussed the general guidelines, objectives and ratings on which the index shall be based.  The attendants reviewed the criteria adopted by the index in the rating process of global think tanks.







Supporting Research Excellence

Dr. Mohammed Al-Ali stressed that research institutions and think tanks are the main link between academics and policymakers. Therefore, they bear the responsibility to make credible knowledge content, explain and analyze crises, explore current situations and conflicts in ways that can be easily understood. They are primarily concerned with analyzing emerging developments and deliver insightful perspectives and solutions. He said the strategies, visions and orientations of think tanks differ, although they may share common goals. Each of them has an area of interest and commitment. Therefore, the idea was to establish a universal indicator to rate the scientific output of research centers. It is quite necessary to highlight the research efforts made in several fields and disciplines, which might not draw much attention as they deserve.

Dr. Al-Ali revealed that TRENDS is currently holding discussions with its academic partners of some prestigious universities on the details of launching this index. The index will basically support research and scientific excellence, promote innovation and leadership and enable research centers to become known regionally and globally.  The novel index shall be a good reference for identifying serious scientific research. It will encourage a competitive environment to enhance research and knowledge output issued by different research centers.





Innovative Platform

The CEO of TRENDS indicated that the index represents a new tool and an innovative platform for more cooperation, a tool for information sharing, exchange of visions and dissemination of ideas and proposals between research centers. These centers can exchange insights on various issues, crises and risks in contemporary world, including the Middle East and North Africa. The process shall improve the quality of scientific output, such as specialized studies and various types of research.








Rating Criteria

Al-Ali stated that the index shall be derived from a list of objective criteria for rating. They include the quality of performance and academic reputation of the respective research center. Other factors include the total output of the center in terms of the number and quality of its publications, books, studies and research papers. Moreover, the index shall consider the number of presentations and participations of the center's researchers in important international conferences and scientific gatherings. In addition, the index will take into consideration the style of citations for research and studies issued by the center's researchers in scientific publications and the extent of their commitment to produce independent and impartial research and analyses. The classified research center should have distinguished media reputation as well as a strong ability to produce genuine knowledge. The ability to generate innovative political insights and programs, and the impact of the produced research on policy makers are other factors to be taken into consideration.





Rating Fields

Mohammed Al-Salimi, Head of Research and Training Division at TRENDS, said that the rating index for the output of research institutions and think tanks is diverse in terms of the nature of research work, as it includes research centers running various research programs.

It also relies on measuring the quality of research output against a precise list of strict standards, which enable research institutions to measure their effectiveness and the quality of their knowledge output. It will help them identify the level of their scientific professionalism.









Mr. Awad Al-Breiki, Head of TRENDS Global Sector, explained that the index for rating research centers, which is currently being discussed with TRENDS’ partners of international academic institutions, will be a reference benchmark for research institutions and think tanks. It will enable them to identify the scientific fields of specialization in which they excel and fare better than peer institutions. These centers will have the opportunity to identify areas where they lack certain skills and tools that would enable them to achieve their stated goals.

Mr. Al-Breiki added that this analysis and self-assessment by research institutions shall be done by subjecting the respective research centers to precise benchmarking criteria. These include measurement of the effectiveness of the leadership of research centers in managing research programs and their local and regional impact. Moreover, the index will rate the quality and reputation of work teams, the skills of researchers, experts and analysts. The process will consider the ability of the centers' leadership to create a conducive work environment that attracts experts and distinguished researchers.


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