Every October as part of our Eugene Garfield Award™, we recognize an early-career researcher for their innovative approach to citation analysis. To get a feel for the impact of this Award, and to find out what exciting projects they have on the horizon, we reached out to some of our past recipients.
Our 2019 Award winner was Dr. Erija Yan, an Associate Professor at the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University, Philadelphia (U.S.). Erija is fascinated with bibliographic data because of what it can tell us about the social, epistemological and organizational aspects of scientific workforce and innovation. He tells us what he’s been up to, what he plans to focus on next and where he envisions the future of Scientometrics to be going.
What research did you embark on upon winning the Eugene Garfield Award, and are there any findings you can share?
Right now, I am using the Web of Science™ data to reveal the impact of academic movement on the institutional human capital of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Because of COVID-19, there were some logistic issues to work through. So, the results are still brewing!
Another project taking place concurrently is about the growing force of industry research in fields such as computer science. I plan to link the Web of Science data with the Global Research Identifier Database (GRID) to group organizations into several categories of entities (e.g., education, healthcare, company, government) and examine the share of publications by these entities over time.
You won $25K USD for your Award and gained access to the Web of Science data – can you share how this helped you in your research?
The award money is definitely appreciated! However perhaps what is more important, is the access to the XML Web of Science data. This opened up a whole world of possibilities for me. The data access is a game changer: it allows me to ask bold and more impactful questions. The breadth and depth of the type of questions that I can address has markedly expanded.
“The data access is a game changer: it allows me to ask bold and more impactful questions.”
Where do you see the future direction of Scientometrics?
I see a departure of academic and professional scientometric work as a future direction. For a long time, people interested in scientometric work had to acquire deep knowledge in information representation, classification and bibliometrics. Skills in data analytics, visualization and statistics were also essential. At that time, there was no clear line between what is academic scientometrics and what is applied/professional scientometrics. In recent years, there are a number of highly intelligent scientometric programs such as InCites™, Publons™ and VOSviewer, which can augment most standard scientometric analysis, thus lowering the barriers to conducting scientometric work.
In recent years, there are a number of highly intelligent scientometric programs such as InCites, Publons and VOSviewer, which can augment most standard scientometric analysis, thus lowering the barrier of conducting scientometric work.
I see huge potential in the applied scientometrics profession for practitioners to take advantage of the existing tools to produce scientometric reports for clients. The academic scientometric work will focus on addressing meaningful societal issues concerning scientific workforce, scholarly communications, science of science, and knowledge production and innovation.
What research are you working on now?
My planned research in the coming years is centered on understanding the effect of the decisions researchers make in regards to collaboration, funding and publications on their career advancements. For example, I am preparing an NSF proposal with collaborators from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Tennessee. The project, if funded, will use the Web of Science data and hand-collected faculty mobility data to examine two effects of academic mobility: one on individual professors’ research activity and the other on institutional human capital at HBCUs.