Centre for Science and Technology Studies Centre for Science and Technology Studies 2333AL Leiden Zuid Holland 31715273909

About CWTS

The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) is an interdisciplinary research institute at Leiden University. We study the research system and its connections to society. Our research, along with our evaluation expertise and our longstanding experience with scientometric databases and tools, offers a solid basis for supporting research assessment and developing science policy.

Our mission

Our mission at CWTS is to improve how science is practiced and governed and how it serves society. To realize this mission, we aim to develop a deep understanding of the dynamics of scientific knowledge production, based on in-depth engagement with a broad range of scientific and societal stakeholders. We also aim to contribute to reforms in research assessment, adoption of open science practices, changes in research cultures, and innovations in research analytics. Moreover, recognizing that we are part of the research system ourselves, we strive to practice what we preach and to lead by example.

Our values

Our work at CWTS is guided by four core values:

  • Transformative. We want to make a difference by inciting transformative changes in the way science is practiced and governed and the way it serves society.
  • Evidence-informed. We value evidence-informed work and policy-making. We collect scientific evidence and act on it, but we also acknowledge its limitations. Scientific evidence offers essential insights for improving how science is practiced and governed, but these insights are always tentative and dependent on context.
  • Collaborative. We value collaborative work. To address the complex challenges faced by science and society, we prefer to collaborate rather than compete, both internally within our team and with external stakeholders. We cherish a diversity of perspectives and strive for a balanced representation and recognition of everyone’s interests and contributions.
  • Responsible. We promote more responsible ways of practicing and governing science, for instance by making research processes more inclusive, research evaluations more fair, and research analytics more transparent. We practice what we preach by making our own way of working more responsible.

Our team

We are proud to have a team of over 40 researchers and other professionals with an internationally recognized expertise in research assessment, science policy, scientometrics, and other related areas. Members of our team have a background in a broad range of fields in the social sciences, including science and technology studies, sociology, and anthropology. A number of team members have been trained in the sciences and have strong skills in computer and data science. Our team is highly international. Besides team members from the Netherlands, we have colleagues from a range of other European countries and also several colleagues from other parts of the world.

Our focal areas

Most work we do at CWTS is organized in three focal areas:

  • Engagement & Inclusion. This focal area studies and promotes ways to make the research system more collaborative, engaged, and inclusive.
  • Evaluation & Culture. This focal area analyzes and advances research evaluation practices that are suited to diverse knowledge making practices and that foster healthy and inclusive academic working environments.
  • Information & Openness. This focal area investigates and promotes openness of research information, such as information about the activities and outputs of researchers and research institutions.

In each of our focal areas, we combine research that aims to develop a deeper understanding of the research system with activities (e.g., consultancy, training, policy advice, and advocacy) through which we aim to intervene in the system and to improve it. By putting our ideas into practice in our own institute, we also aim to improve our own way of working.

20230509 focal areas of CWTS for about page


Through CWTS BV, a company owned by Leiden University, we translate our research into products and services that serve the needs of a broad range of clients, including universities and other research institutions, research funders, companies, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. We support these organizations in the evaluation and management of their research. CWTS BV also offers a course program through which we provide training to staff members of these organizations, for instance to librarians, policy officers, and research managers.

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