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Report on the Bibliometric Indicators of Innogen (2002 - 2010)

Rafols, I   Costas, R

October 2012

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The report explores the scientific impact and the interdisciplinary scope of the centre Innogen at the University of Edinburgh for the period 2002 to 2011. To do so, the report analyses publications by Innogen that are covered in the Web of Science (WoS). These are less than half of Innogen’s publications as a result of the policy and humanities orientation of part of Innogen’s research, areas which are not well covered in WoS.

The main finding is that Innogen research spans a wide diversity of disciplines and links scientific fields that are generally weakly connected, in particular various social sciences, health sciences and biomedicine. The wide diversity of disciplines is found at multiple levels: in terms of the knowledge base it draws on (as seen from references), the knowledge it creates (as suggested by the journals where it publishes) and the audience it has reached (as shown by articles citing Innogen’s work). This finding is in alignment with Innogen’s mission as interdisciplinary centre.

The second finding is that Innogen’s scientific impact stands at the same level as the aggregated impact of the University of Edinburgh. We notice that simple citation counts tend to underestimate Innogen’s contribution, since many of Innogen’s publications are in subject areas with less propensity to cite and being cited.

Important notice: Given that Innogen is an interdisciplinary centre active in both academic and policy debates, a bibliometric characterisation is highly problematic and the insights of this study need to be taken only as suggestive and exploratory. This is because many of its publications are not conventional articles in journals indexed in the Thomson-Reuter’s Web of Science (WoS). For example, a sizable part of Innogen’s publications appear in biology journals classified as ‘Editorial material’ rather than scientific contributions. Since this bibliometric study is based in publications indexed in the WoS up to 2010 and particularly n document types “articles”, “letters” and “reviews”, it can only cover around between ~30% (for impact analysis) and ~50% (for interdisciplinarity analysis) of Innogen´s publications. This figure is consistent with the percentage of references in Innogen’s WoS indexed papers that is contained in the WoS (38.4%).