Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - English

Assessment of the Berlin Research Landscape

A central goal of the Berlin Science Survey is observing dynamics and changes in the Berlin research landscape that may be caused or at least influenced by science organizations such as BUA or BR50.

In order to assess the Berlin research landscape from the scientists' point of view, they were asked to make statements on several central dimensions. Overall, the researchers' assessments are very positive (Figure 1). In particular, the research-related dimensions, i.e., research quality, internationality, cooperativeness, research autonomy, and innovation potential, are rated by a large majority as "rather good" or even "very good. " The assessments of the general conditions – personnel resources and material conditions – are more critical.  These critical assessments should be a reason to enter into discussion with the university administrations in order to identify potentials and possibilities for improvement.


Figure 1 Assessment of the Berlin Research Area


In Section 4, we looked at the topic of open science in detail. Overall, the scientists attribute great importance to this area, whereby contradictions between claims and reality were revealed. Now, the scientists' assessment of the implementation of open science in the Berlin research landscape also points to a need for improvement. It should also be emphasized here that a full 32.8% of respondents are unable to assess the implementation of open science. Against this background, the fact that BUA is currently working on the development of an open science strategy seems relevant and timely. The goals of knowledge transfer, diversity, and promotion of young researchers, which have been staked out as key topics by BUA, also fall behind the purely research-related dimensions in the evaluation. Of these, the promotion of young researchers scores the lowest. Thus, BUA's objectives can be seen as reasonable in these areas as well.

With regard to the overall framework conditions under which scientists conduct research in the Berlin research landscape, they express satisfaction in the middle of the scale (mean value = 5.5 on a scale from 0 = very dissatisfied to 10 = very satisfied). There is apparently still "room for improvement" here (see Figure 2).


Figure 2 Satisfaction with general conditions of own research


When dissatisfactions or difficulties come up, the question arises as to the extent to which the facilities can contribute to solving problems or overcoming difficulties.

Organizational support for knowledge transfer activities is most frequently desired, at 40.4% (see Figure 3). It is conceivable here that initiating exchanges with relevant groups outside of science could be of particular interest, as we were able to identify a discrepancy here. However, a need for support in implementing open science, in initiating collaboration and in ensuring research quality is also indicated by more than one-third of the respondents in each case.

In the case of open science, the need for support could take the form of identifying the relevance of various open science practices for one's own research practice and eliminating difficulties in realizing them. In order to offer targeted support for collaboration initiatives, it would be important to learn what difficulties those who do not collaborate perceive. This would have to be surveyed in a follow-up wave. In order to support the topic of ensuring research quality with meaningful measures, it would also be necessary to find out what concrete difficulties the respondents face in this regard. This question could also be taken up in a later wave of the survey.


Figure 3 Support needs by the institutions


When it comes to the Berlin research area, we are naturally also interested in how BUA's role is perceived there. The BUA aims to be a driving force in the development of the Berlin research landscape into an integrated and internationally renowned science location. To this end, various sub-goals have been defined, such as the promotion of innovation and internationality. It is therefore interesting to hear the views of scientists in the Berlin research landscape on the extent to which BUA is on track to achieve these goals. Furthermore, it should be assessed whether BUA as a supra-organization increases the visibility of the Berlin research landscape. This question is justified and relevant in light of the fact that BUA's goal is to elevate the Berlin research landscape to an internationally leading science location.

First of all, it is noteworthy that a quarter to a third of the respondents at the time of the survey, i.e. two years after the founding of the BUA, do not yet want to or cannot allow themselves to make a sufficient judgment (see Figure 4). Among the others, a slightly positive picture prevails. The statement that BUA contributes to making the Berlin research landscape as a whole more visible receives the strongest approval. The question of whether the BUA contributes to making the Berlin research landscape more innovative or more international cannot currently be answered clearly. In the pilot study, the assessments are balanced. At the same time, however, this means that more efforts are needed to convince scientists of the added value of BUA.


Figure 4 Image of BUA


In order to be able to classify the assessments of BUA and, above all, the opinions expressed, it is worth taking a look at the extent to which the respondents themselves are involved in BUA activities.

Overall, BUA is well-known among the researchers (see Figure 5). Only a few (15.5%) have never heard of BUA. The majority (55.4%) occasionally hear something about BUA but are not actively involved in it. Just under one-fifth of respondents have attended BUA events.

These results suggest that it should continue to be BUA's task to become more visible in the research space, to integrate people into BUA's activities, and, most importantly, to have an impact where scientists appreciate it. 


Figure 5 BUA involvement