Single-Author Papers: A Waning Share of Output in all fields but especially Economics and Business; down from 70% in 1981 to under 30% in 2012

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In 2012, ScienceWatch last revisited the topic of multiauthor papers—the trend toward scholarly publications listing authors whose numbers, in some cases, now reach into the thousands. In this report, we turn to the opposite end of the spectrum.

In the field of Social Sciences dominates, according to both the 1981 and 2012  measurements, with Economics & Business and Mathematics following closely. Each of those fields, in 1981, registered single authorship on upwards of 70% of its total papers.

By 2012, as Graph 4 makes plain, the rate of single authorship had fallen drastically in all the fields, with the greatest percentage drop in Economics & Business (42 points), and comparable reductions in Computer Science (40 points), and Mathematics (38). Social Sciences, from a high of 72% in 1981, also recorded a 30-points-plus decline to its 38% of single-authored papers in 2012.

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Science as an open enterprise; towards all scientific literature online all data online, and for them to interoperate

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The Science as an open enterprise report highlights the need to grapple with the huge deluge of data created by modern technologies in order to preserve the principle of openness and to exploit data in ways that have the potential to create a second open science revolution. Exploring massive amounts of data using modern digital technologies has enormous potential for science and its application in public policy and business. The report maps out the changes that are required by scientists, their institutions and those that fund and support science if this potential is to be realised.

Areas for action. Six key areas for action are highlighted in the report:

  1. Scientists need to be more open among themselves and with the public and media
  2. Greater recognition needs to be given to the value of data gathering, analysis and communication
  3. Common standards for sharing information are required to make it widely usable
  4. Publishing data in a reusable form to support findings must be mandatory
  5. More experts in managing and supporting the use of digital data are required
  6. New software tools need to be developed to analyse the growing amount of data being gathered




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Knowledge transfer from from European universities and institutes to industry; practices & mechanisms

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This study describes knowledge transfer from European universities and institutes to industry, focusing on the role of the Industrial Liaison / Technology / Knowledge Transfer Office function. It explores practices in European institutions and compares these with international ones, especially from the USA. The project is based upon a comprehensive literature review and a programme of detailed case studies of knowledge transfer strategies and practices. It addresses the wide range of knowledge transfer activities undertaken by public research organisations, in addition to IP exploitation and their different effects on innovation in the business sector. It presents a model of the transition of PROs’ knowledge transfer strategies from pure technology transfer based only on IP to a broader role in knowledge transfer and ultimately to a two-way process of knowledge exchange between PROs and industry and wider society. The report presents a number of policy options to support this process.



Knowledge transfer from public research organisations

EU bookshop, 2012

ISBN: 978-92-823-4018-9

DOI: 10.2861/99859

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European Investments in joint and open research programmes and analysis of their economic impact

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The study “Investments in JOint and open R&D Programmes and analysis of their economic impact” (the JOREP study) has been launched by the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission (Economic Analysis Unit) to quantify and analyse the coordination and opening-up of national public funding which constitute a fundamental development towards a more integrated European Research Area. This study is part of a set of projects providing key information for policy making in the perspective of contributing to growth in Europe through innovation policies. The JOREP study addresses questions like: What is the EU member states’ engagement in transnationally coordinated programmes? What is the openness of their public R&D programmes? What needs do joint and open R&D programmes mainly respond to? What are the main motivations driving the joint undertaking of research and the opening of R&D programmes? Are there differences between scientific domains? The study aims at providing a sound quantitative basis for the monitoring of investments in joint and open research programmes in EU countries, as well as empirical evidence of the policy rationales and impacts of these programmes on the European Research Area. The project has carried out a comprehensive collection of data about joint and open programmes according to a set of standardised descriptors, and provided an analysis of motivations and impact of these programmes. The study covers eleven European countries corresponding to about 85% of national public funding in Europe and displaying various situations within ERA: medium-size countries with a well-developed science basis, large countries, Mediterranean countries, and Central and Eastern European Member States. These countries are (in alphabetical order): the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. This publication is the Final report of the study. It is accompanied by the study’s methodological Handbook. These two publications, as well as a short Summary report of the study, the detailed Analytical Report and 11 Country reports are available at: research/innovationunion/index_en.cfm?pg=other-studies


Investments in joint and open research programmes and analysis of their economic impact (JOREP)Final report; 2013

ISBN: 978-92-79-29661-1

     DOI: 10.2777/10945   KI-31-13-908-EN-N 


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How Individual Scholars Can Reduce the Rigor-Relevance Gap in Management Research

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This paper discusses a number of avenues management scholars could follow to reduce the existing gap between scientific rigor and practical relevance without relativizing the importance of the first goal dimension. Such changes are necessary because many management studies do not fully exploit the possibilities to increase their practical relevance while maintaining scientific rigor. We argue that this rigor-relevance gap is not only the consequence of the currently prevailing institutional context in the scientific system, but that individual scholars can reduce the gap between rigorous and practically relevant research by modifying their research work. Thus, most of our suggestions refer to individual scholars’ research activities and relate to specific steps in the (empirical) research process. Our discussion does not imply that all management studies should be practically oriented; basic research will remain a very important part of management research. However, we believe that not enough management research studies are significantly influenced by practical relevance. The authors: ” The discussion of these suggestions has shown that significant changes are necessary in the area of idea generation, in the area of testing ideas, as well as in the area of their presentation. If the practical relevance of management research is to increase, modifications will have to be made in all stages of the
(empirical) research process. An integrative view of these suggestions shows the advantages of close cooperation between scholars and practitioners. This insight is fully consistent with the results of the publications by Gibbons and colleagues (Gibbons, Limoges, Nowotny,
Schwartzman, Scott, and Trow 1994; Nowotny, Scott, and Gibbons 2001). According to them, the generation of new knowledge is increasingly due to joint efforts by scholars and practitioners. This will
help management research become “a contextualized science” (Nowotny, Scott, and Gibbons 2001, p. 90) and to advance its stock of insights from “reliable knowledge to socially robust knowledge” (pp.
167 et seq.).1 Moreover, the current paper has shown that if the
scientific community is to reduce the rigorrelevance gap, it will have to master the challenge of increasing the creativity of the research results and the consistency of management research’s body of knowledge. The integration of these two goals is not a trivial task. Nevertheless, management’s scientific community should be able to reduce this conflict, as not all research projects have to be both highly creative
and highly commensurable with the existing stock of knowledge.” Source:How Individual Scholars Can Reduce the Rigor-Relevance Gap in Management Research
Joachim Wolf
University of Kiel – Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Timo Rosenberg
University of Kiel

BuR Business Research Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp.178-196, November 2012  
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Achieving Impact in Research; a guide for the purposes of gaining research funding and reporting achieved impact for the Research Excellenc Framework (REF)

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This addition to the “Success in Research” series addresses the importance of understanding and achieving impact for the purposes of gaining research funding and reporting achieved impact for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).


The book includes contributions from researchers and researcher developers who feel that impact is ill-defined and poorly understood despite its prevalence in policy documents, websites and institutional activities. This succinct and cohesive text draws on the expert contributors’ collective research practice, knowledge and experience.


Using a variety of examples, boxed activities and highlighted reflection points, this practical guide covers the following key areas:


– The meaning of impact in relation to research


– How the Impact Agenda fits with attitudes and ethics that motivate research


– The different characterisations of research impact and when impact is apparent


– How impact can be planned into proposals, evaluated and evidenced


– The skills needed to be an impactful researcher


– How impact can be supported through Knowledge Exchange and effective partnerships


Table of contents:


What is the meaning of impact in relation to research and why does it matter? A view from inside academia     
Colin Chandler

What is the meaning of the Impact Agenda – is it a repackaged or a new entity? Views from inside the Research Councils     
Sophie Payne-Gifford

How does the Impact Agenda fit with attitudes and ethics that motivate research?     
Jennifer Chubb

What are the different characteristics of research impact?     
Jo Lakey, Geoff Rodgers and Rosa Scoble

When might research impact be apparent?     
Christopher Wood

How can impact be planned into research proposals?     
Rob Daley and Sara Shinton

How can impact evaluation be planned?     
Tony Bromley and André de Campos

How can impact be evidenced: practical methods?     
Tony Bromley

What skills are needed to be an impactful researcher?     
Jennifer Chubb

How can knowledge exchange support the development of impact through partnerships and university infrastructures?     
Andy Jackson

How can you become an impactful researcher?     
Ellen Pearce and Pam Denicolo

Appendix I A special case: researcher development and the work of the impact and evaluation group     
Christopher Wood and Pam Denicolo

Appendix II An illustration of the Researcher Development Framework (Vitae)
Appendix III The pathways to impact framework provided by RCUK



Achieving Impact in Research
Pam Denicolo     
October 2013, AGE Publications Ltd   
Series: Success in Research



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Moving Beyond Bibliometrics: Understanding Breakthrough Emergence through Missed Opportunities; a framework for failures in identifying breakthrough opportunities

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Who is most likely to discover a breakthrough? Why are some scientists more successful than others at discovering them? By using extant theories of breakthrough emergence to predict a groundbreaking discovery in biology, RNA interference, I show that the explanatory power of combining all current theories are weak because they sample on rare successes rather than the multiple instances of failure in the discovery process. Instead, I focus on understanding these failures by interviewing scientists with high potential of discovering breakthroughs in a case historical analysis. My findings suggest that the seminal discovery was missed several times not only due to difficulties in solving a particular problem but also due to failures in identifying breakthrough opportunities. I propose a cognitive framework with institutional underpinnings at the basis of these failures. In the problem identification stage, framing barriers from pursuing normal science and existing boundary barriers between communities of scientists contribute to difficulties in identifying the breakthrough opportunity by misrepresenting the magnitude of the problem. In the problem-solving stage, scientists are constrained by paradigmatic pressures to avoid being wrong, and coupled with boundary barriers similar anti-dogmatic observations stay isolated and unsubstantiated, thus diminishing confidence to identify a new revolutionary paradigm. 


The author: “This work has implications in the design of organizations and institutions that partake in scientific discovery. Understanding the barriers to scientific knowledge creation is vital not only for academic administrators but also crucial from both managerial and policy standpoints. It illustrates the fundamental differences inherent in the production of scientific and technological knowledge, and directly speaks to the organizational design of science-based firms (where the literature has mainly focused on technological innovation and remains thin) by providing structural characteristics and policies that foster the production of groundbreaking discoveries. These include facilitating interdisciplinary research teams, encouraging cross-organism and 33 

cross-field conference attendance, and providing incentives that enable the flexibility to take on side projects at the fringe. “



Sen Chai (LWP-HLS and NBER) ”  “Moving Beyond Bibliometrics: Understanding Breakthrough Emergence through Missed Opportunities” 




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