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A Quantitative Measure to Compare the Disciplinary Profiles of Research Systems and Their Evolution Over Time

Listed author(s):
  • Irene Bongioanni


    (Department of Physics, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")

  • Cinzia Daraio


    (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")

  • Giancarlo Ruocco


    (Department of Physics, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")

Registered author(s):

    We model Science and Technology (S&T) systems as complex systems and propose to use the mathematical tools developed within the spin-glasses literature to evaluate similarity within systems and between systems in a unified manner. Our measure is based on the ‘overlap’ of disciplinary profiles of a set of S&T systems. The investigation of the distribution of the overlaps provides useful insights on the dynamics of the general system, that is whether it converges towards a unique disciplinary structure or to a differentiated pattern. We illustrate the usefulness of the approach by investigating the dynamics of disciplinary profiles of European countries from 1996 to 2011. We analyse several bibliometric indicators (including publications and citations) of European countries in the 27 Scopus subject categories. We compare the disciplinary profiles of European countries i) among them; ii) with respect to the European standard; and iii) to the World reference. We find that there is a convergence towards a unique European disciplinary profile of the scientific production even if large differences in the scientific profiles still remain. The investigation of the dynamics by year shows that developing countries are converging towards the European model whilst some developed countries are departing from it.

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    File Function: Revised version, 2013
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    Paper provided by Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" in its series DIAG Technical Reports with number 2013-010.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2013
    Handle: RePEc:aeg:report:2013-010
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    1. Andy Stirling, 2007. "A General Framework for Analysing Diversity in Science, Technology and Society," SPRU Working Paper Series 156, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
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