An Analysis and Evaluation of the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report

Social Sciences in China Review

No.3, 2018


An Analysis and Evaluation of the Global Go To Think Tank Index ReportAbstract


Hu Wei, Wu Tian and Wang Yanchao


Since its introduction, the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report has been controversial both at home and abroad. Chinese think tanks’ attitude toward this report changed from “unfamiliar with” to “highly evaluated” and finally to “rational view.” Through the summary and analysis of the ten-year data of the report, we can more clearly examine its structure and features, find its context of values and default positions, as well as defects in methodology and contents. The report is not perfectly scientific and objective. Quite the contrary, it falls short of commonly accepted academic standards. The ranking of Chinese think tanks in the report is inappropriate, even misleading to some extent, to be taken as a reference for constructing and evaluating think tanks in China. Chinese think tanks’ vague understanding of the report reminds us of the importance of building a credible domestic think tank evaluation system based on our own national conditions and development goals. At the time when “strengthening the construction of a new think tank with Chinese characteristics has been made a national strategy, and when the development of Chinese think tanks has entered into its prime time, we should take the report as a lesson, and should be more confident and coolminded toward foreign evaluation and comments in think tank research and in more extensive academic research and construction, so as to pursue and achieve more fair and effective international academic exchanges.