Exploration of an Interdisciplinary Scientific Landscape

Author : Juste Raimbault

Patterns of interdisciplinarity in science can be quantified through diverse complementary dimensions. This paper studies as a case study the scientific environment of a generalist journal in Geography, Cybergeo, in order to introduce a novel methodology combining citation network analysis and semantic analysis.

We collect a large corpus of around 200,000 articles with their abstracts and the corresponding citation network that provides a first citation classification. Relevant keywords are extracted for each article through text-mining, allowing us to construct a semantic classification.

We study the qualitative patterns of relations between endogenous disciplines within each classification, and finally show the complementarity of classifications and of their associated interdisciplinarity measures. The tools we develop accordingly are open and reusable for similar large scale studies of scientific environments.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.00805

Striving Toward Openness: But What Do We Really Mean?

Author : Vivien Rolfe

The global open education movement is striving toward openness as a feature of academic policy and practice, but evidence shows that these ambitions are far from mainstream, and levels of awareness in institutions is often disappointingly low.

Those advocating for open education are seeking to widen engagement, but how targeted and persuasive are their messages? The aim of this research is to explore the voices often unheard, those of the teachers and professional service staff with whom we are engaging.

This research presents a series of interviews with those involved in open education at De Montfort University in the UK, with the aim of gaining a better perspective of what openness means to them. T

he interviews were analysed through an interpretive lens allowing each individual to create their own story and reflect their own personal view of openness. The results of this study are that in this university, openness is represented by five elements – staff pedagogy and practice, benefits to learners, accessibility and access to content, institutional structures, and values and culture.

This work shows the importance of adopting critical approaches to gain a deeper understanding of the philosophical and pedagogic stances within institutions. By giving a voice to all those involved we will be able to develop appropriate and more persuasive arguments to widen our sphere of influence as a community of open educators.

URL : Striving Toward Openness: But What Do We Really Mean?

Alternative loation : http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3207

Big Data and Data Science: Opportunities and Challenges of iSchools

Authors : Il-Yeol Song, Yongjun Zhu

Due to the recent explosion of big data, our society has been rapidly going through digital transformation and entering a new world with numerous eye-opening developments. These new trends impact the society and future jobs, and thus student careers.

At the heart of this digital transformation is data science, the discipline that makes sense of big data. With many rapidly emerging digital challenges ahead of us, this article discusses perspectives on iSchools’ opportunities and suggestions in data science education.

We argue that iSchools should empower their students with “information computing” disciplines, which we define as the ability to solve problems and create values, information, and knowledge using tools in application domains.

As specific approaches to enforcing information computing disciplines in data science education, we suggest the three foci of user-based, tool-based, and application-based. These three foci will serve to differentiate the data science education of iSchools from that of computer science or business schools.

We present a layered Data Science Education Framework (DSEF) with building blocks that include the three pillars of data science (people, technology, and data), computational thinking, data-driven paradigms, and data science lifecycles.

Data science courses built on the top of this framework should thus be executed with user-based, tool-based, and application-based approaches.

This framework will help our students think about data science problems from the big picture perspective and foster appropriate problem-solving skills in conjunction with broad perspectives of data science lifecycles. We hope the DSEF discussed in this article will help fellow iSchools in their design of new data science curricula.

URL : Big Data and Data Science: Opportunities and Challenges of iSchools

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1515/jdis-2017-0011

Patent Citations Analysis and Its Value in Research Evaluation: A Review and a New Approach to Map Technology-relevant Research

Authors : Anthony F.J. van Raan


First, to review the state-of-the-art in patent citation analysis, particularly characteristics of patent citations to scientific literature (scientific non-patent references, SNPRs). Second, to present a novel mapping approach to identify technology-relevant research based on the papers cited by and referring to the SNPRs.


In the review part we discuss the context of SNPRs such as the time lags between scientific achievements and inventions. Also patent-to-patent citation is addressed particularly because this type of patent citation analysis is a major element in the assessment of the economic value of patents.

We also review the research on the role of universities and researchers in technological development, with important issues such as universities as sources of technological knowledge and inventor-author relations.

We conclude the review part of this paper with an overview of recent research on mapping and network analysis of the science and technology interface and of technological progress in interaction with science.

In the second part we apply new techniques for the direct visualization of the cited and citing relations of SNPRs, the mapping of the landscape around SNPRs by bibliographic coupling and co-citation analysis, and the mapping of the conceptual environment of SNPRs by keyword co-occurrence analysis.


We discuss several properties of SNPRs. Only a small minority of publications covered by the Web of Science or Scopus are cited by patents, about 3%–4%. However, for publications based on university-industry collaboration the number of SNPRs is considerably higher, around 15%.

The proposed mapping methodology based on a “second order SNPR approach” enables a better assessment of the technological relevance of research.

Research limitations

The main limitation is that a more advanced merging of patent and publication data, in particular unification of author and inventor names, in still a necessity.

Practical implications

The proposed mapping methodology enables the creation of a database of technology-relevant papers (TRPs). In a bibliometric assessment the publications of research groups, research programs or institutes can be matched with the TRPs and thus the extent to which the work of groups, programs or institutes are relevant for technological development can be measured.


The review part examines a wide range of findings in the research of patent citation analysis. The mapping approach to identify a broad range of technology-relevant papers is novel and offers new opportunities in research evaluation practices.

URL : Patent Citations Analysis and Its Value in Research Evaluation: A Review and a New Approach to Map Technology-relevant Research

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1515/jdis-2017-0002


Where Are We Now? Survey on Rates of Faculty Self-Deposit in Institutional Repositories

Author : Ruth Kitchin Tillman


The literature of institutional repositories generally indicates that faculty do not self-deposit, but there is a gap in the research of reported self-deposit numbers that might indicate how widespread and common this is.


This study was conducted using a survey instrument that requested information about whether a repository allowed self-deposit and what its rates of self-deposit were, if known.

The instrument contained additional questions intended to gather a broader context of repositories to be examined for any correlations with higher rates of self-deposit. It also included questions about the kinds of labor required to populate an IR as well as satisfaction with the rates of self-deposit.


Of 82 respondents, 80 were deemed to fall within the study’s parameters. Of these, 55 respondents’ institutions allowed self-deposit, and 10 reported rates of self-deposit of more than 20 items per month.

More than half the total respondents reported using at least three methods other than relying on self-deposit to add content to their repository. Respondents are generally unsatisfied with their deposit profiles, including one at a school reporting the highest rate of self-deposit.


From the responses, no profile could be formed of respondents reporting high rates of self-deposit that did not entirely overlap with many others reporting little or no self-deposit. However, the survey identifies factors without which high rates are unlikely.


The results of this survey may be most useful as a factor in administrative prioritizations and expectations regarding institutional repositories as sites of scholarly self-deposit.

URL : Where Are We Now? Survey on Rates of Faculty Self-Deposit in Institutional Repositories

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2203


Early-Career Researchers’ Perceptions of the Prevalence of Questionable Research Practices, Potential Causes, and Open Science

Authors : Stefan Stürmer, Aileen Oeberst, Roman Trötschel, Oliver Decker

Young researchers of today will shape the field in the future. In light of current debates about social psychology’s research culture, this exploratory survey assessed early-career researchers’ beliefs (N = 88) about the prevalence of questionable research practices (QRPs), potential causes, and open science as a possible solution.

While there was relative consensus that outright fraud is an exception, a majority of participants believed that some QRPs are moderately to highly prevalent what they attributed primarily to academic incentive structures.

A majority of participants felt that open science is necessary to improve research practice. They indicated to consider some open science recommendations in the future, but they also indicated some reluctance. Limitation and implications of these findings are discussed.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000324