Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Monitoring and evaluation of research (R&D) activities, particularly in relation to socio-economic needs is high on the agenda of European policy-makers. At the same time, assessment of what is called 'European Added Value' is demanded. In fact, all these desiderata focus to a few crucial questions: How are specific R&D activities 'embedded' in their scientific, technological and societal 'environment'? How do the R&D fields in which the research activities take place, look like in terms of their cognitive and organizational structure? How are they related to other fields, particularly to fields of applied research and technology? Who and where are the important actors? Are networking activities between actors in the EU member states really reinforcing the quality of R&D and its application potentials, especially in relation to socioeconomic needs?
The work presented in this report aims at the development of a consistent, 'standardized' and generally applicable methodology to answer the above questions. We discuss a 'mapping of science' approach, based on advanced bibliometric methods. We claim that our approach yields concrete and objective information of high strategic value. For instance, maps over a range of years reveal changes in the structure of R&D fields and their �environment�. These changes can then be used as an evidence of the impact of R&D programs. In good approximation, we may apply the following model: solving a problem means removing a problem, and as a consequence the problem also disappears largely from the scientific agenda. In other words, the contribution of scientific research to solve human needs and societal problems can be monitored reasonably well by observing the scientific agenda. This implies that a powerful tool for assessing the socioeconomic impact of RTD would be the visualizing the cognitive landscape of an R&D field.

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