Provision and analysis of key indicators in research and innovation: Policy briefs A to G

Client: European Commission

Published: October 2021

As a part of the three-year project Provision and analysis of key indicators in research and innovation, undertaken for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research & Innovation, Science-Metrix and project partner PPMI prepared 10 policy briefs on a number of topics relevant for European Union (EU) policymaking in the field of research and innovation (R&I).

For the first seven policy briefs (Briefs A to G, outlined below), the study team identified and reported on key R&I issues and challenges in the research, technology and innovation domain at the European and Member State levels, as per the seven areas of interest identified in the Commission’s tender specifications. Details on policy briefs H, I and J can be found here.


Policy brief A, Big Data approaches to measure enterprise innovation (prepared by PPMI)

The key questions explored in this policy brief are whether Big Data approaches can be used to measure enterprise innovation and what their main benefits and shortcomings are compared to existing measurement approaches such as the CIS survey.

Read brief A here.


Pooled policy briefs B & C, Diversity and specialisation in intellectual property, B. Brief on EUIPO trademarks & designs, C. Brief on EPO patents

Policy briefs B and C were combined due to their closely linked topics. The briefs analyze the specialization patterns of countries from a diversity perspective using data from EUIPO (for trademarks and designs, Brief B) and the EPO (for patents, Brief C).

The analyses presented in these briefs address the following questions related to the impacts of the smart directionality of R&I investments under the new ERA. Responses to these questions were then used in formulating recommendations to guide future monitoring of these impacts.

  • Should countries be ranked based on the specialization index?
  • If so, should this be within certain size limits?
  • Should the specialization index be strictly used to follow the progress of individual countries relative to their respective baseline value and target?
  • Can regional databases be used in international comparisons (e.g., EUIPO)?

The policy briefs also aimed to extract general tendencies in the specialization patterns of the selected countries.

Read briefs B & C here.


Policy brief D, Framework Programme contribution to knowledge transfer between the public and private sectors (in the form of co-publications and citation of publications in patents)

The terms knowledge transfer and knowledge translation are often used interchangeably in reference to the proactive, dynamic and iterative process by which knowledge is converted into use. This brief aims to assess the Framework Programmes’ contribution to the international standing of the EU, and more broadly of the European Research Area (ERA), via knowledge transfer and knowledge translation between the public and private sectors.

Read brief D here.


Policy brief E, Testing the societal outcomes of R&I policies. Altmetric case study: Is cross-disciplinary research increasing the odds of research findings influencing decision-making?

This policy brief examines the influence of research on policymaking by addressing, fully or in part, the following research questions:

  • Can altmetrics offer a practical, reliable, generalizable method for capturing societal outcomes of research in the form of informing policymaking?
  • Do higher degrees of cross-disciplinary research found in peer-reviewed publications increase the odds of these articles being cited in policy documents?
  • Can policy interventions (mainly funding) promoting cross-disciplinary research increase the odds of resulting findings supporting evidence-based policymaking?
  • Can we establish program evaluation strategies that draw on findings from the validation of policy (mainly funding) mechanisms to enable pointed assessment of individual funding programs or other policy instruments?
  • Can we establish a generic methodological framework to validate the societal outcomes of policy mechanisms for supporting research, using large-scale data sets?

Read brief E here.


Policy brief F, Scientific mobility

This policy brief examines trends in researcher mobility patterns by addressing the following research questions:

  • Is there a tangible difference between the scientific output and impact of mobile researchers compared to static researchers?
  • Is there a tangible change in a mobile researcher’s scientific output and impact as he/she is migrating?
  • Which countries benefit from a net input of foreign researchers, and at the expense of which countries?
  • Which countries experience a net loss of researchers, and to the benefit of which countries?

Read brief F here.


Policy brief G, Mixed-gender and interdisciplinary teams based on publication data

Some studies have shown that women undertake interdisciplinary research to a greater extent than men, while other studies have shown no difference by gender. It has also been suggested that junior women researchers are dissuaded from engaging in interdisciplinary research because it is perceived as being of higher risk in terms of the success of outcomes. This policy brief examines which scenario is in fact playing out, as reflected in the interdisciplinarity of publication reference lists and the gender balance of publications’ authors.

Read brief G here.


Image credit: iStock Photo