By Klaus Zinöcker

The legitimacy of a funding agency in basic research depends at least on the following factors:

  • organization’s ability to minimize distortions in approval probability by its decision procedure
  • the scientific quality of results produced by funded research proposals
  • the acceptance of the procedures by the scientific community.

To ensure these requirements, the [FWF] ( started a sequence of empirical studies which contain analyses of the decision making procedure (peer review) as well as statistical and bibliometric analyses of FWF funded proposals. A survey among the Austrian scientific community followed. Some of the analyses are conducted by the FWF itself, others by independent experts, eg. from the [MPG Munich] ( or [CWTS Leiden.] ( All results are [openly accessible.] (

Our endeavor will round off all these studies to summarize the results. Addressees of this (policy) paper are the scientific community, policy makers and the public. FWF’s goal is to address urban legends about its work, compare results and link them to get the big picture of FWF’s efforts during the last years. Among others we will address potential biases in our decision mechanisms, discuss outcomes and impacts and compare the results with the opinions of the scientific community.

Falk Reckling, Ralph Reimann, Klaus Zinöcker, FWF


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Klaus Zinöcker



Published: 23 Feb, 2015

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