London, U.K., June 16, 2021: Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT), a global leader in providing trusted information and insights to accelerate the pace of innovation, today released a new Global Research Report which examines the ability of nations and institutions to respond to unexpected challenges or opportunities in science, medicine, technology and social sciences based on the diversity of their research activities and expertise.
With the publication of, "Subject diversity in research portfolios", analysts at the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) at Clarivate consider subject diversity in a research context and show trends in national and institutional research portfolios by examining publications from across the G71 and BRICK2 nations from 1981 – 2018. The report finds that subject diversity provides benefit, notably in resilience and responsiveness to unexpected challenges and examines these nations' ability to provide for their citizens' needs in responding to a severe unforeseen global challenge - the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, Clarivate identifies a new and readily usable analytical approach to evaluate the capacity and competency of research organizations and nations.
The report looks to the Web of Science citation index, relying on the familiar Gini coefficient to provide a pragmatic approach to examining research diversity by identifying a stable global baseline for national comparisons, using highly structured data gathered over forty years. By focusing on the category balance or evenness, rapid visual comparisons can be made over time and between entities. The study demonstrates that diversity analysis provides a new forward-looking view of the opportunities for intellectual, and scientific evolution, in contrast to retrospective publication citation analysis, which looks back to achievement.
Bibliometric data have been thoroughly explored as a tool for tracking past performance and outcomes. Understanding and assessing diversity may prove not only to be a useful forward-looking index for research organizations but also to be a critical tool for national and institutional research managers in anticipating and preparing for the unexpected - and deploying an effective response.
Jonathan Adams, Chief Scientist at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate said: "The association between diversity of research topics and response to challenge and innovation points to a new source of information for those that manage research portfolios and will form a valuable new tool in support of strategic investment planning."
Diversity and research response
COVID-19 presented an unforeseen global research challenge, and the ISI identified 67,756 papers (articles or reviews) indexed in the Web of Science and published in 2020-21 related to COVID-19. Their analysis of these papers suggests that a diverse research base is indeed of potential benefit in enabling a more comprehensive response, as it provides agility and the scope for recombining knowledge in unexpected interdisciplinary situations. Countries with a diverse research base responded with a rapid and comprehensive range of innovative research – but most specialist countries did not. An exception, Brazil, has a narrow research base but one pre-adapted to this particular challenge.
Joel Haspel, SVP Strategy, Science at Clarivate said: "Diversity matters. Research diversity, in all its forms, is an engine of economic progress. It stimulates innovation and contributes to stability and resilience in national portfolios and should be a valuable part of management planning for research and development for countries and institutions."