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Ludo Waltman appointed as professor of Quantitative Science Studies


July 16th, 2018

Ludo Waltman has been appointed as professor of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, especially Quantitative Science Studies, at Leiden University. The chair is located at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS).

Quantitative science studies

CWTS has a 30-year history in the field of quantitative science studies. The center has played a pioneering role in the development of bibliometric and scientometric research and in the use of bibliometric and scientometric statistics to support research management and science policy. Waltman: “I am extremely honored to build on the rich history of CWTS in the area of quantitative science studies.”

The Quantitative Science Studies chair will continue the work in this area, but it will also pursue important new directions. Waltman for instance emphasizes the importance of contextualized scientometrics, an approach in which scientometric statistics are systematically enriched with contextual information: “Contextualized scientometrics offers a way to bridge the gap between intuitive expert judgment and mechanistic decision making based on quantitative indicators.” The Quantitative Science Studies chair also aims to play a leading role in developments toward openly available scientometric data sources, such as recent initiatives to create open citation indices. Another aim of the chair is to improve the theoretical and methodological foundations of quantitative science studies research.

The objectives of the Quantitative Science Studies chair are fully aligned with the mission of CWTS as outlined in the research program Valuing Science and Scholarship, emphasizing for instance the value of synergy between quantitative and qualitative approaches for studying science. The chair also intends to work toward further integration of research and teaching at CWTS within the broader agenda of Leiden University in the data science domain.

Career

Waltman has a background in the fields of economics and computer science. He received his PhD in economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2011. He then moved to CWTS, where he started working in the field of quantitative science studies. Together with his colleague Nees Jan van Eck, Waltman developed the VOSviewer software tool for creating bibliometric visualizations. This freely available tool has a large worldwide user community. The tool been used in hundreds of research articles. Waltman is also responsible for the CWTS Leiden Ranking, a bibliometric ranking of major universities worldwide. In addition, he is co-author of the Leiden Manifesto, an influential statement presenting principles for the responsible use of research metrics. Waltman is deputy director of CWTS, where he also leads the Quantitative Science Studies research group. Waltman also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Informetrics, one of the leading journals in the field of quantitative science studies.

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