Science & Technology Studies

Harvard no longer number 1 in ranking

by P.F. Wouters 24 October 2011

Recently, the new Times Higher Education World University Rankings
2011-2012 saw the light. The ranking revealed that Harvard University is no
longer number one on the list. Incidentally, the differences with Caltech – now
highest – are …

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Harvard no longer number 1 in ranking

by P.F. Wouters 24 October 2011

Recently, the new Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-2012 saw the light. The ranking revealed that Harvard University is no longer number one on the list. Incidentally, the differences with Caltech – now highest – are minimal. The main reason for Caltech’s rise are the extra revenues it drew out of industry. Caltech’s income […]

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Understanding Academic Careers

by Sarah de Rijcke 10 October 2011

On November 16, 2011, the Rathenau Institute and the VU University Amsterdam organize a symposium on Dynamics of Academic Leadership. The symposium addresses the conditions that are necessary for high level
performance and creativity in research, and…

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Understanding Academic Careers

by Sarah de Rijcke 10 October 2011

On November 16, 2011, the Rathenau Institute and the VU University Amsterdam organize a symposium on Dynamics of Academic Leadership. The symposium addresses the conditions that are necessary for high level performance and creativity in research, and the implications for research management and policy. Paul is one of the invited speakers. He will discuss some […]

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Science mapping: do we know what we visualize?

by Sarah de Rijcke 3 October 2011

A recent landmark in the field of science
mapping is Katy Börner’s Atlas of
Science: Visualizing What We Know (MIT Press, 2010). The atlas recently won
the ASIS&T Best Information Science Book Award 2011. The kinds of maps covered…

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Science mapping: do we know what we visualize?

by Sarah de Rijcke 3 October 2011

For example, what often gets glossed over in these endeavors is that visualizations of scientific developments also prescribe how these developments should be known in the first place. Science maps are produced by particular statistical algorithms that might have been chosen otherwise, calculations performed on large amounts of ‘raw’ data stored in databases, and for […]

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Evaluating e-research

by P.F. Wouters 3 May 2011

We had a very interesting discussion last week at the e-Humanities Group of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The problem I presented is how to evaluate e-research, the newly emerging style of scientific and scholarly research that ma…

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(The) Performance (of) Measurement

by P.F. Wouters 27 January 2011

http://www.socialsciences.leiden.edu/cwts/

High
time to start this blog again! November and December were too busy to keep up
with it, as I had to combe getting to know CWTS better with
preparing the transfer of the Virtual Knowledge …

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La habitación de Fermat

by P.F. Wouters 11 January 2011

Recently, we saw a somewhat crazy Spanish movie, "La habitación de Fermat". In the story, a couple of mathematicians and an inventor are invited to a mystery play on the basis of their capacity to solve puzzles. In the end they are locke…

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The Times Higher Education Supplement University Ranking

by P.F. Wouters 3 November 2010

The ranking of universities published by the Times HigherEducation World University Rankings is now in its seventh year. Every year, it attracts quite a lot of attention and hardly any university can afford to ignore it. But what does it actu…

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Ranking as an instrument in the competition

by P.F. Wouters 19 October 2010

http://www.socialsciences.leiden.edu/cwts/products-services/leiden-ranking-2010-cwtsThe different lists of university rankings have attracted increasing attention because of their potential as a weapon in the increasingly fierce global competition betw…

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Modelling the peer review system a al SIMCITY

by P.F. Wouters 20 September 2010

http://www.socialsciences.leiden.edu/cwts/sti-conference2010/At the STI conference 2010 my colleagues Andrea Scharnhorst, Krzysztof Suchecki from the Virtual Knowledge Studio and I presented our work in progress on modeling the…

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Erasmus University embraces Open Access

by P.F. Wouters 13 September 2010

http://www.eur.nl/eur/universitaire_plechtigheden/openingacademischjaar/The Erasmus University has opened the new academic year last week by embracing Open Access for all its research publications. From 1 January 2011, it will be obligatory f…

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Measuring the world

by P.F. Wouters 8 September 2010

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Vermessung_der_WeltRecently, I read Daniel Kehlmann’s ficitonal history about Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss, Die Vermessung der Welt. intriguing way to write history of science, because it enables the …

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STI Conference

by P.F. Wouters 3 September 2010

http://www.socialsciences.leiden.edu/cwts/sti-conference2010/

Next week, we will host the 11th International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators here at CWTS in Leiden. The house will be packed.

 For me, it will be a great opportunity to get updated about the latest developments in the field of STI indicator research. I am especially interested in five different areas: the role of web based data and indicators; changes in the process of evaluation; indicators for the humanities and social sciences; indicators for emerging types of scientific and scholarly output; and last but not least the constructive roles of science and technology indicators.

 It is clear that more researchers are engaged in web based ways of working. This may mean that web based indicators are also becoming more relevant. However, this raises new problems with respect reliability and validity. Another question is whether the web will stimulate "lay scientometrics" where in principle anyone can do pretty sophisticated statistics with the help of software agents and robots. Will this create new challenges for professional scientometricians?

 The web promises to help also in another area: the creation of indicators that do justice to the way researchers and scholars in the humanities work. It is well-known problem that international peer reviewed journals are not always the predominant outlet for research in these areas. Writing books in other languages than English is often more relevant. New media moreover enable forms like films, performances, blogs and wikis. These alternative forms are currently not well covered in STI indicators. This raises the question how the web can help to develop indicators that do more justice to the actual research work that humanists and social scientists are doing. It also raises a dilemma: should we try to capture all relevant work in indicators? What are the downsides of "too much information"?

 This points to the way we are building an increasingly complex society, where knowledge and social interaction is made measurable in new ways (think about how retailers are monitoring their clients through their client cards), and where these measurements are fed back into the cycle of knowledge creation. I am curious how this will play out at the STI conference. 

  

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