The Transition to the New Indicators in Measuring Science, Technology, Innovation
Researchers at the ISSEK HSE Laboratory for Economics of Innovation Vitaliy Roud and Ekaterina Dyachenko share with some observations from fields of three science conference where were discussed current trends and new measurement tools of science, technology and innovation.
In September in Leiden (The Netherlands) one by one took places Global TechMining Conference and Science and Technology Indicators — STI 2018. Earlier, in July, in Seoul (South Korea) was held 17th International Schumpeter Society Conference 2018.
TechMining Global Conference: Search for Hidden Meanings and 'Sleeping Beauties'
Agenda of the TechMining Conference, which was organised by two major experts in this area — Anthony Van Raan and Alan Porter, reflects well what is currently being done in the world by groups using text analysis to technology research.
Mining tools for large sets of text data (mainly Web of Science publications or patents) make it possible to create networks of terms related to concepts or topics, visualise networks as maps, explore relations between actors based on the search for cross-references, model topics based on proximity metrics.
Much attention was attracted by the plenary report, in which Van Raan presented the results of the study of articles — 'sleeping beauties', which start being actively quoted after years of publication. It turns out that the share of such articles exists in each area. Interestingly enough, they often begin to be cited in patents earlier than in academic articles.
Ozcan Saritas, deputy head of the ISSEK HSE Research Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies, presented at the conference the iFORA — Big Data mining analysis system used in the measurements of science and technology and foresight studies of the ISSEK. The experience of the Institute in the field of techmining in terms of setting and implementing tasks is quite comparable with the work presented at the conference by foreign colleagues.
During the final panel discussion, the participants agreed that the community interested in techmining is continuously expanding, and there is a demand for a more efficient exchange of results and the dissemination of best practices.
The conference programme and abstracts are available here.
STI 2018: Growing Uncertainty Factor in Modern Science
The conference on indicators of science, technology and innovation has a long history. Its main organiser is the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at the University of Leiden (CWTS). It is one of the most powerful world centres in this area, which has developed, among other things, a well-known university ranking.
Each year, the STI conference brings together reputable scientists and expert practitioners in the field of research in scientific, technological and innovative development. The scientific core of the conference has traditionally been and remains scientometric and bibliometric studies, built on a quantitative analysis of scientific publications. However, the agenda is steadily expanding, and at STI 2018 a variety of studies on sociology, economics, psychology, and even the history of science were presented.
The keynote lectures of STI 2018 were devoted to fundamental issues — the relationship of quantitative and qualitative research, the role of uncertainty in modern science. The presentations at the specialised sessions mostly focused on bibliometrics and patent analysis.
The main topics of the conference include the use of indicators to identify trends, factors and effects of scientific and technological development; technical aspects of building optimal indicators; systematic bias related to indicators; new (alternative) indicators. In recent years, sections on alt-metrics and on science mapping have become permanent for the conference.
Among the presented works, many were devoted to the analysis of networks of articles, keywords, citations around individual topics, technologies, concepts, areas; citing articles in patents as a science-industry link; connectivity of research groups through co-citation. The increased attention of the participants of STI 2018 attracted reports on the business sector of science.
Russian scientists have long been part of the international community of scientometricians. By the way, the term 'scientometrics' (naukometria) itself was proposed by Soviet scientist Vasily Nalimov in the 1960s. The STI conferences in the recent years show how much the interest has increased to this topic in Russia. At STI 2018, researchers from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don presented their studies. Some of them were grouped into a thematic section about Russia 'Local, regional and national studies: Russia'. Among others, the work of Ekaterina Dyachenko on the publication patterns of Russian medical researchers was presented. Similar sections were held about China and Brazil.
The program and conference proceedings are available on the conference website.
The Development of Schumpeter’s Ideas
The conference of the International Schumpeter Society is one of the main scientific events for researchers in evolutionary economics. Its focus is on innovation development and policy issues. This year the organisers accepted more than 150 papers.
One of the key speakers was Professor Bengt-Ake Lundvall (Denmark), who discussed the idea that in order to enhance the contribution of the innovation agenda to welfare issues, it is necessary to create international agreements by analogy with conventions on limiting CO2 emissions. Such agreements should limit individual economic actions to reduce income inequality of citizens and reduce the number of citizens below the poverty line. According to the expert, this is what should be the centre for the further development of the sustainability agenda.
Interesting reports by Lee and Radosevich were devoted to the research of technological upgrading. It was noted that the accumulated experience and cases of recent years show the absence of unified 'ladders' and development paths — different countries solve their problems in different ways. It also points to the lack of adequate metrics of technological upgrading that consider these new research results.
Uwe Kanner spoke at the memory section of Luigi Orsinho with a report on the slowdown in returns from investments in innovation and R&D. The results of the macroeconomics analysis show that knowledge becomes more and more expensive, and their contribution to productivity turns out to be stagnant or decreasing.
The session of journal editors turned out to be extremely interesting. The deputy head of the ISSEK HSE Laboratory for Economics of Innovation Dirk Meissner also spoke (from the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change). Ben Martin presented a 'typology of cases of improperly conducted research' and potential reactions to them from journals. It is important to note that in the UK, reporting on the cases of research misconduct is the part of the annual evaluation of academic organisations.
The conference programme is available here.