Rethinking a national classification of research and graduate education



Palabras clave:

Classification systems, Scientometrics, Science policy, Research evaluation, Graduate education, Brazil, OECD Fields of Research and Development (FORD), Unesco International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), Evolutionary review


Brazil adopts a classification system of research and graduate education that is key to its high-stakes national evaluation. Originated in the 1970s, the system is organised around evaluation areas that have expanded and matured not only to support the evaluation dynamics in the country but also to address the immense growth of the National System of Research and Graduate Education (SNPG). This study investigates the origins, evolution and current profile of the Brazilian classification, identifying that five decades of expansion led the system to become somewhat peculiar, especially when compared with international classification systems such as the OECD Fields of Research and Development (FORD) and the Unesco International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED). The investigation and the comparisons conducted reveal that the system needs to be revised. For that, the study advances to propose a scientometric approach to rethink not only the classification of evaluation areas but also the allocation of research and graduate programs within them. The methods explored in this paper show the potential of the approach, as the different analyses performed can provide evidence to expert committees in the challenging task of performing an evolutionary review of the adopted classification system.


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Cómo citar

Brasil , A. (2023). Rethinking a national classification of research and graduate education. Profesional De La información, 32(2).



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles