Posted by: bluesyemre | May 30, 2018

Inside the scientific data revolution


The global research landscape has always been hard to analyse and understand, even for those closest to it

What makes a research institute successful? That’s a question universities are increasingly puzzling over as they compete for student applications, research funding and coveted positions at the top of league rankings. To help answer it, many institutions are looking for relevant data to yield insights that will give them an edge over their competitors.

Just ask the team at University of Glasgow, who for the past two years have been using Scopus, an abstract and citation database, and its analytical tools to map out the landscape of research and innovation. Scopus has an impressive pedigree, being owned by Elsevier, an information analytics business specialising in science and health.

And the results at Glasgow have been significant. Not only can staff and students use the data to keep abreast of research fields – and their performance relative to peers within those fields – Scopus is also helping the university from a more strategic point of view to understand how it compares with other institutions, and when and where to seek out collaborations.

A key benefit is how the data can help in applying for funding. “We put in a large bid recently, for medical research,” says Alice Gee, policy and business intelligence manager at the University of Glasgow. When writing the bid, Gee and her colleagues used Scopus data to demonstrate that they were the strongest recipients for the funding. “We were able to quote the number of papers published in the last five years, the percentages that were international and involved collaborations with industry, and our citation metrics,” she says.

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