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CWTS research program assessed as "very good" and "world leading"

July 14th, 2016

The Centre for Science and Technology Studies was recently assessed by an international committee of experts. The assessment took place in the framework of the Dutch Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP). The results were recently made public on the Leiden University website. The centre conducts "very good, internationally recognized" research according to the expert committee. Its societal impact is assessed as "excellent" and its viability for the future as "very good".

Director Paul Wouters responded that the centre is "very happy that the committee concludes that we have been able to maintain our highly visible and internationally recognised leadership in the area of scientometrics / bibliometrics, and in particular, that the committee was impressed by the recent progress  in advanced bibliometric methodologies which it considers to be world leading". He stressed that he valued the assessment in particular since the committee members are all internationally leading experts across the full spectrum of research and policy to which CWTS contributes. The committee was chaired by Linda Butler (former head of a performance evaluation research unit at the Australian National University), and its members were: Henry Small (senior scientist at SciTech Strategies, Inc), Ulrike Felt (professor of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna), Reinhilde Veugelers (professor of Business and Economics, University of Leuven), and Eduard Klasen (professor of Management of Health Research, Leiden University).

The evaluation report notes that CWTS could have limited itself to the strength of its bibliometric tradition but that they instead took "the bold step" to reorient and broaden the scope of its research. The committee fully supports this decision. Wouters: "For us, this is the key conclusion of the assessment of our work." The committee is of the opinion that CWTS' strategy for re-orientation and the diversification "has huge potential for further enhancing our academic standing." Wouters: "We agree with the committee that this process is not yet finalized and needs to be further developed in the coming years. The committee advises us to see the complementarity of our quantitative and qualitative approaches as 'the strongest pillar of the quality of the research in the Centre' as they form the context for each other. We fully agree and see the theoretical, methodological and empirical integration of the various research lines as one of our main central strategic objectives for the next five years."

CWTS will develop a new research programme in the course of 2016. The full report and the response by CWTS are available here.

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