WEST BERLIN—With a rising pro portion of the budget going to re search, the West German government has become increasingly interested in finding a way to mea sure the quality of the work it is supporting. Its growing interest has triggered a reaction from academics, who argue that such indicators do not give a complete and accurate picture of the academic landscape and that, if used to determine funding, they could disrupt or reduce the current allocation to the nation's universities.

The latest development occurred at a meeting last month of the country's top university adminisrators at Schloss Reisensburg in southern West Germany. Organized by psychologists Hans-Dieter Daniel and Rudolf Fisch from the University of Konstantz, it reflected the social science origins of studies on science indicators in this country.

The meeting took place during the same week that Heinz Riesenhuber, minister of research and technology, announced that federal R&D...

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