Order, order! New report highlights importance of evolution in data categorization

It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order.

Dmitri Mendeleev

A new report Data Categorization: understanding choices and outcomes from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)™ at Clarivate highlights the evolving and dynamic nature of data categorization. It addresses the way we recognize natural divisions of knowledge and research and how we categorize publications for discovery, analysis, management and policy.

Being aware of the characteristics and limitations of the ways we categorize research publications is important to research management because it influences the way we think about established and innovative research topics, the way we analyze research activity and performance, and even the way we set up organizations to do research.

Our report introduces a new and highly flexible approach to data aggregation based on trusted research data in the Web of Science™ citation network, developed in collaboration with the leading academic scientometrics team at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

This innovative approach demonstrated in InCites™ Citation Topics more accurately represents microclusters, or specialties, provides more uniform content and improves citation normalization. It also gives opportunity for novel groups to appear that were not previously possible with journal-based schemes.

There are clear strengths and weaknesses in  the variety of classification systems currently available, and our aim in introducing Citation Topics is to promote good practice in data management to improve knowledge, competency and confidence and to ensure the responsible use of research metrics.

Ludo Waltman, Deputy Director at CWTS, Leiden University said: “Bottom-up citation-based classifications play a prominent role in many of the scientometric analyses that we carry out at CWTS. It is great to see that InCites users will now also be able to benefit from these powerful classifications.”


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