Peter van den Besselaar

Recent publications and other News


Full professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Organization Sciences and the Network Institute.

Research director at Teresa Mom Consultancy, Amsterdam.

My research focuses on the organization, governance and dynamics of science. Apart from that I am strongly interested in the use of computational methods and big data in social research. I also still do some research in the field of social informatics.



Between 1982 and 2002, I was at the University of Amsterdam, the department of social informatics, first as assistant professor and then as associate professor. In 2002, I moved to the Royal Netherland Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), where I was director of the social science data archive (Steinmetz Archive) until 2005, and research director and head of the department of Science System Assessment until 2010. I combined these positions with an endowed communication science chair at the University of Amsterdam (2004-2009), and endowed science policy research chair at the VU University (2009-2014).

I studied mechanical engineering (propedeuse, TU Eindhoven), mathematics (BSc, University Utrecht) and philosophy (MA with honors, University of Amsterdam). I have a PhD in informatics (Faculty of Psychology, University of Amsterdam)


p.a.a.vanden.besselaar AT vu DOT nl

peter AT teresamomDOT com



  • Studying grant decision-making: a linguistic analysis of review reports.Scientometrics 2018 (first online). With Ulf Sandström and Helene Schifbeanker
  • Funding, evaluation, and the performance of national research systems. Journal of Informetrics 11 (2018) - with Ulf Sandström
  • Does Institutional proximity affects grant application success? Paper presented at the PEERE conference, Roma, March 7-9-2018 - with Charlie Mom
  • Gender bias and cognitive proximity in grant allocation, Paper presented at the PEERE conference, Roma, March 7-9-2018 - with Ulf Sandstrom
  • Best paper award: Using linguistic analysis of peer review reports to study panel processes. Paper presented at the PEERE conference, Roma, March 7-9-2018 - With Ulf Sandstom and Helene Schiffbaenker
  • Vicious circles of gender bias, lower positions, and lower performance: Gender differences in scholarly productivity and impact. PLoS ONE 12 (2017) - with Ulf Sandström
  • Perverse effects of output-based research funding? Butler’s Australian case revisited. Journal of Informetrics 11 (2017) - with Ulf Sandström and Ulf Heyman
  • Counterintuitive effects of incentives? In press: Research Evaluation 26 (2017) - with Ulf Sandström
  • Do observations have any role in science policy studies? Journal of Informetrics 11 (2017) - with Ulf Sandström and Ulf Heyman
  • Managerial influence on attitude formation in organizations: how to manage emergence, Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory. Online first - with Peter van Woensel, Dick de Gilder, Peter Groenewegen
  • Quantity and/or Quality? The Importance of Publishing Many Papers. PLoS ONE 11: e0166149 - with Ulf Sandström
  • Gender differences in research performance and in academic careers. Scientometrics (2016) 106:143–162, - with Ulf Sandström
  • Mapping science through bibliometric triangulation: an experimental approach applied to water research, Journal of the American Association of Information Science and Technology 68 (2017) 3, pp724-738 - with Bei Wen, Edwin Horlings, Marielle van der Zouwen





Current projects

Some finished projects

Some links




Publications since 2007 (full text)

Older publications

PhD students

  • Dennis Beckers
  • Al Idrissou
  • Bei Wen
  • Irene Sinteur (7 November 2018)
  • Firmansyah David (2017)
  • Tjerk Wardenaar (2015)
  • Pleun van Arensbergen (2014)
  • Thomas Gurney (2014)
  • Maaike Verbree (2011)
  • Anne-Marie Oostveen (2007)
  • Gaston Heimeriks (2005)
  • Carolien Metselaar (2000)