WEST BERLIN—An attempt to compare the academic standings of West German universities has produced a confusing lack of correlation between five different quantitative indicators.

Conducted by Ernst Giese from the University of Giessen and funded by the German Research Society (DFG), the survey has been published at a sensitive time for science policy in West Germany.

Its results have been welcomed by the country's collective of university presidents, which does not wish science indicators to be used in academic assessment or for funding decisions. But the government's advisory science council in-tends to continue using such measures in the hope of encouraging greater competition among and within universities.

Giese asked the nation's 52 universities to cooperate in his study. Five of them (Bamberg, Bielefeld, Duisburg, Munich and Ubn) explicitly refused to cooperate, while others (Augsburg, the Free University of Berlin, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Wurzburg) did not respond to repeated invitations....

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