Identifying Research Fronts in the Web of Science: From Metrics to Meaning

Discover hot and emerging research areas to shape your institution's strategic direction

Research evaluators and policymakers frequently use quantitative measures based on publication and citation data as a complement to expert peer review to inform assessment and strategic decision-making. While ranks and scores have their uses, they are limited in revealing many aspects of research activity and different dimensions of contributions.

Thanks to advances in the handling and visualization of very large datasets, it is possible to see – and visit – the leading edge of scientific and scholarly research through science mapping and data visualization. This includes locating individuals, institutions, funders, and journals within this landscape and evaluating organizational participation in different areas, as well as changes over time.

Due to the volume of research published worldwide, and complexity of organizational and researcher networks, it can be challenging to identify early breakthroughs and understand the extent to which your organization is participating in the leading edge of science. In this report, we explore how you can easily track emerging research areas to help shape your institution’s strategic direction. Stay ahead of the curve by using Research Front data derived from the Web of Science™ to inform and improve your research assessment.