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

Enhancing the societal impact of academic publications (Creatieve Industrie – NWO KIEM)

The central goal of academic publishers is the dissemination of the results of research and scholarship. Their audiences can generally be divided into two categories. Academic publications are firstly made accessible to the scholarly community, so that these texts can form the input for new academic inquiries. Secondly, research outcomes are also distributed among professionals outside of academia within the (semi-)public and private sector. It may be observed, nevertheless, that the primary focus of publishers shifts more and more to the first category of readers, at the expense of readers outside of academia.

This development is partly related to the continuous increases in the prices of subscription-based journals. It can also be connected to the unprecedented proliferation of scholarly publications, and to the fact that academic publications often make use of a highly specialised academic language. For non-academic readers, it becomes progressively difficult to identify the publications that are of actual relevance to their field of work. This research project aims to establish a theoretical framework for the recognition of societal relevance. This framework will form the basis for a practical application which can ultimately support publishers in their efforts to reach non-academic audiences. The application will be based on technologies in the field of Text and Data Mining, and will make use of aspects such as keywords, abstracts, stylictic properties and usage data.

Logo NWO KIEM 250


1 year: January 2018 – December 2018


societal impact, academic publications, scientific audience, non-academic audience, text and data mining


Leiden University Centre for Arts in Society (Leiden University), Leiden University Centre for Digital Scholarship, Boom Uitgevers, De Koninklijke Bril N.V.

CWTS Staff

Thed van Leeuwen



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