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

SciSTIP was established on 1 April 2014 as part of the DSI-NRF Centres of Excellence Programme funded by the South Africa’s National Research Foundation (https://www.nrf.ac.za/). SciSTIP is hosted by the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at Stellenbosch University and co-hosted by the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) at Tshwane University of Technology. CWTS is a collaborating partner of the SciSTIP centre.

CWTS has worked in the following SciSTIP projects:

Social media studies of science in Africa (2020)

This project (link https://www0.sun.ac.za/scistip/research/research-evaluation/social-media/) aims at studying the African science-(social)media context from a multi-approach perspective, focusing on the study of the different dynamics, interactions, actors and topics as they can be captured via altmetrics and (social) media sources.

One of the goals of the project is an analysis of the research topics that African scholars are engaging with and that are receiving a substantial attention on Twitter. Among these we find topics such as maternal mortality, AIDS and malaria transmission, which are important in the research African landscape but are also exhibit a strong social media reception.

One of most remarkable outcomes of this ongoing project has been the first global discussion of the communities of attention on Twitter around South African scientific outputs (Joubert & Costas, 2019).

Scientometric analysis of the African workforce (2020)

This project (link https://www0.sun.ac.za/scistip/research/human-resources/scientometric-analysis-african-workforce/) focuses on a multi-source examination and development of scientometric analytics targeted to describe, understand, and monitor the African scientific workforce. The goal is to consider the human factor embedded in the production of new knowledge: the individuals involved in the production of the knowledge and their relationships with other entities such as affiliations, funders, etc.

The project takes advantage of the developments in bibliometric databases that have implemented author name disambiguation algorithms (e.g. Scopus, WoS, Dimensions, Microsoft Academic) as well as the usee of extensive individual researcher registries (e.g. ORCID). The project so far has contributed to increase our understanding on the potential of scientific data sources for the study of global academic mobility dynamics (Sugimoto et al 2017), and in the African context has provided first evidence on the mobility patters of Northern African researchers (El-Ouhai, Robinson-García, Costas, 2021).

Capturing economic potential of South African academic science: modelling, measuring, monitoring (2015-2017)

The goal of this research project (link https://www0.sun.ac.za/scistip/research/research-evaluation/capturing-economic/) (2015-2017) was the development and application of key performance indicators at the ‘meso’ level of universities and the ‘micro’ level of individual researchers. This work is informed by theoretical and conceptual models of relationships between scientific research, science-based technology, and the role of research universities in (national) innovation systems.

Our quantitative empirical data were derived from the bibliometric information sources such as research publications co-authored by researchers in universities and industry; patents; patent citations to research publications; titles and abstracts of research publications; and funding-grant acknowledgements.

The multi-source, multi-metric performance profiles of individual South African universities, and selected researchers at some of those universities, revealed general features of their industrial orientation and research commercialisation, which are seen as indicative of their innovation potential and possible economic impacts.


Tijssen, R.J.W., Yegros-Yegros, A. & Winnink, J.J. 2016. University–industry R&D linkage metrics: validity and applicability in world university rankings. Scientometrics. 109(2):677–696.

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