European Science and Technology Policy
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European Science and Technology Policy

Towards Integration or Fragmentation?

Edited by Henri Delanghe, Ugur Muldur and Luc Soete

This innovative book focuses on the most important concept underpinning current European Union research policy. It describes the history and concept of the European Research Area (ERA), analyses some of the underlying assumptions, assesses some of its achievements, and takes a brief look at its future.
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Chapter 14: Performance of European Science: Research Networks and Profiles of EU Countries in a Global Perspective

Anthony F.J. van Raan, Thed N. van Leeuwen and Clara Calero-Medina


Anthony F.J. van Raan, Thed N. van Leeuwen and Clara Calero-Medina 1 BIBLIOMETRIC MEASUREMENT OF RESEARCH PERFORMANCE Scientific progress can be defined as the substantial increase in our knowledge about ‘everything’. We distinguish between basic knowledge (‘understanding’) and applicable knowledge (‘use’). Both types of knowledge can be tacit (‘craftsmanship’) or codified (‘archived and publicly accessible’). Since the 17th century, scientists have communicated and codified their findings in a relatively orderly and well-defined way. Particularly important is the phenomenon of serial literature: publications in international journals. Communication, that is, the exchange of research results, is therefore a crucial aspect of the scientific endeavour. Publications are not the only elements in this process of knowledge exchange but they are certainly very important. Each year over 1 million publications are added to the scientific archive of this planet. Publications contain key elements for ‘measuring’ important aspects of science: author names, institutional addresses, journals – which indicates not only the field of research but also ‘status’ (Lewison, 2002) – references (citations) and concepts (keywords, keyword combinations). Although not perfect, a publication is taken as a ‘building block’ of science and as a source of data. The bibliometric assessment of research performance is thus based on one central assumption: scientists who have to say something important publish their findings vigorously in the open international journal (‘serial’) literature. The daily practice of scientific research shows that inspired scientists – particularly in the natural sciences 256 Performance of European science 257 and medical research fields – go for publication in the...

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