The aim of this note is to reply to Bertocchi et al.’s comment to our paper “Do they agree? Bibliometric evaluation versus informed peer review in the Italian research assessment exercise”. Our paper analyzed results of the experiment conducted by the Italian governmental agency ANVUR during the research assessment exercise about the agreement between informed peer review (IR) and bibliometrics. We argued that according to available statistical guidelines, results of the experiment are indicative of a poor agreement in all research fields with only one exception, results reached in the so called Area 13 (economics and statistics). We argued that this difference was due to the changes introduced in Area 13 with respect to the protocol adopted in all the other areas. Bertocchi et al.’s comment dismiss our explanation and suggest that the difference was due to “differences in the evaluation processes between Area 13 and other areas”. In addition, they state that all our five claims about Area 13 experiment protocol “are either incorrect or not based on any evidence”. Based on textual evidence drawn from ANVUR official reports, we show that: (1) none of the four differences listed by Bertocchi et al. is peculiar of Area 13; (2) their five arguments contesting our claims about the experiment protocol are all contradicted by official records of the experiment itself.
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