Special Track listing

The two lists below contain the titles of all special tracks accepted for the conference. As we receive information from the organizers, they will be enriched with additional information. Special tracks in the "open submission" section are open to receiving papers within their theme through the EasyChair system.

Open submission special tracks

Advanced bibliometric indicators and approaches for research evaluation
Bibliometric studies of open access publications
Gender research in Science and Technology Studies (STS): a closer look at variables
Mapping research related to sustainable development goals
Methodological challenges in identifying and measuring the effects of science policies on performance indicators
Questionable publishing across different countries
Reflexive bibliometrics: new perspectives on practices of scrutinization in scientometrics
Science communication and research impact

Special tracks with closed calls

New approaches to research funding studies?
Gendering R&I organisations and content to enhance research integrity and quality
Gender bias in research funding?
Open Metadata
Between a rock and a hard place: Navigating policy demands of indicators for fostering Open Science and RRI
Professional competencies in research evaluation
Research funding

Advanced bibliometric indicators and approaches for research evaluation

Special track description: The increasing uncertainty and complexity of real-world needs, variables, and environments are challenging current studies in research evaluation. Bibliometrics, as an effective analytic tool for decades, have provided systematic solutions for understanding science, technology, and innovation policy. The rapid development of information technologies, in particular, artificial intelligence techniques, brings evolutionary changes to traditional bibliometrics, as well as its applications in research evaluation. This special track specifically aims to explore the ways of fully facilitating the power of advanced bibliometrics to enhance its capability in research evaluation in scalable, uncertain, and complicated environments.

Special track format: The general format of the track includes: a 5-min brief introduction (Yi Zhang), a 30-min keynote (Ed Noyons), a 45-min paper presentation (approximately 3-4 authors of submissions), and a 10-min overview and summary (Andrew Plume). The track is an open and interactive session, providing opportunities to seek advices, share experiences, and communicate with audiences and speakers.

Submission format: Regular submissions

Organizers: Yi Zhang, Andrew Plume, Ed Noyons

Back to top

Bibliometric studies of open access publications

Special track description: This track seeks research that sheds light on the complex relationship between the structural conditions Open Access (OA) publishing is embedded in, OA output and the impact it generates, as well as the authors and users of OA publications. Specifically, we invite contributions addressing the following three aspects related to bibliometric research on open access publishing:

  1. Recent developments in the OA publishing landscape which may have an effect on future OA output. The track at STI is intended to report on scientometric studies that address questions such as: are national OA agreements impacting OA publishing behavior, and should they be considered as a relevant factor in bibliometric studies, e.g. for country comparisons?
  2. Articles that are published OA often witness a substantial citation and altmetrics advantage when compared to articles behind a paywall. Several studies aimed at explaining the reason for those higher citation rates and found an early-access effect, a self-selection effect, or an article-inherent quality effect. We invite submissions that systematically touch on those OA impact effects.
  3. It is the authors who decide whether articles should be published OA or traditionally, and it is the users of those articles who determine whether they have quantifiable impact (as, for example, measured by citations). Hence, studies are welcomed that characterize OA authors and users, for example, in terms of discipline, gender, affiliation or country of origin.

Special track format: The track is featuring presentations of work related to the topics listed above. The track is open for submissions and will feature some invited talks. The organizers will open the track with a short introduction to the topic.

Submission format: Regular submission

Organizers: Philipp Mayr, Isabella Peters, Anne Hobert, Nicholas Fraser

Back to top

Gender research in Science and Technology Studies (STS): a closer look at variables

Special track description: Research concerning gender disparities and the advancement of women in science has become a revitalized topic in Science and Technology Studies (STS); building upon the tracking mechanisms of the early 1980s to late 1990s. Recently, the community has been advised that socially laden metaphors used to label variables is a concern, particularly those that signal femininity (i.e., Sugimoto & Mostafa, 2018). Since then, there has been a significant debate (i.e. Boffy, 2019, DutchNews, 2019, and van Raan & Winnink, 2019), but little has been done to examine how the discipline considers ‘gender’ as a variable.

There are well-known challenges associated with operationalizing gender in STS research. When using large bibliographic datasets of authors, or patent inventors, a fundamental challenge is to match names to respective genders. But, 'gender-as-variable' can be operationalized differently, depending on the type of investigation. For example, in psychology, medicine and educational research, gender is sometimes ‘blinded’. Moreover, gender is socially and culturally situated, and within such situations, there are confounders as well as paradoxes, both of which the field of STS needs to embrace. The motivation for this special track is to examine the operationalization of variables in gender-based research, where proxies are used, and where intervening variables are either not accounted for, or exist as confounders.

Special track format: Part I. 90 min session: Alesia Zuccala and Gemma Derrick will initiate the plenary session by presenting a paper, which examines the role and use of variables in STS. Following the presentation participants will be invited to form ‘break-out’ groups concerning a specific variable, and engage in discussions focused on: a) personal and professional experiences with each of the variables, b) a reconsideration of the nature of these variables, c) exploring how the variables could be better used in research in light of group experiences, including how they may or may not be confounding, and e) proposing new, more powerful or relevant proxies for variables.

Part II. 90 min session: Papers submitted to and selected for the special track, will be the focus of the second part of the 'Gender research in STS' plenary. Presenters will be allotted a time of 15 min. each followed by 5 min. for questions.

Submission format: We invite regular submissions as full, or research in progress papers. Of interest is original work concerning gender issues in STS, which may be interdisciplinary in nature, and highlight interesting theoretical, methodological and/or policy-oriented approaches to 'variables'.

Organizers: Alesia A. Zuccala and Gemma Derrick

Back to top

Mapping research related to sustainable development goals

Special track description: There is an increasing demand for science and research funding to be better aligned with socio-economic needs. Since funding resources are scarce and research funders need to make choices about the types of research they support, it is crucial to develop frameworks (as well as tools, datasets and methods) that allow for making informed choices and prioritizing some research agendas over others. In this context, an important approach to understanding how countries and regions are making progress in solving societal challenges is to map efforts in relation to the targets and metrics set out in the seventeen 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as other ‘Grand’ or societal challenges.

Special track format: In this special track, we aim to host a number of speakers that are doing work related to the identification of research outputs associated with SDGs (or other societal challenges). They will have between 10 and 15 minutes to present on questions such as:

  1. How do we identify when research is related (or not) to an SDG or a societal challenge?
  2. How can improvements in different types of SDG’s/challenges be associated with research outputs?
  3. How should analysts map research related to SDGs/challenges?
  4. How can we compare ontologies across different disciplines, data, and challenges?

Submission format: Regular submission.

Organizers: Tommaso Ciarli, Hugo Confraria, Gaston Heimeriks, Ed Noyons, Ismael Rafols

Back to top

Methodological challenges in identifying and measuring the effects of science policies on performance indicators

Special track description: Performance monitoring is a practice widely undertaken as researchers and policy-makers alike seek to understand why countries perform at the levels that they do and identify what aspects of policies contribute to the success of a country. However, it is difficult to effectively measure the impact of policy changes on performance indicators due to particular methodological challenges, such as non-stationary databases, uncertainty around timing of policy implementation and effects, and attributing causality from non-experimental data. We are holding a special track session to discuss the issues encountered and solutions devised by researchers studying the effects of science policies on performance indicators. This session aims to be a step toward identifying the best practices for studies of the effects of science policy and performance indicators, including assessing the feasibility of such studies and acknowledging the limitations.

Special track format: An extended campfire-style session consisting of approximately 10 minute presentations from a number of invited speakers and authors of submissions. The invited speakers are key individuals at the intersection of research and policy, including Professor Jesper Schneider, Professor Diana Hicks, Professor Gunnar Sivertsen, and the main organisers. These presentations will provide context and content for the open discussion that follows, providing the audience with an opportunity to ask questions, seek advice and contribute their own experiences of conducting studies in this area.

Submission format: Regular submission

Organizers: Sybille Hinze, Dimity Stephen, Stephan Stahlschmidt, Diana Hicks, Jesper W. Schneider, and Gunnar Sivertsen

Back to top

Questionable publishing across different countries

Special track description: The aim of this special track is to discuss ongoing research into questionable (a.k.a. ‘predatory’) publishing and the ways in which it is recognized and addressed in different countries, thus stimulating exchange of expertise and mutual learning. We invite both empirical and conceptual contributions including Delineation, matching, identifying and monitoring questionable publishing; Treatment of questionable publishing in evaluation and performance-based funding; and Policy work.

Special track format: The track will consist of, first, traditional presentations of the selected contributions with Q&A and, second, a group discussion among participants and the audience on further steps, e.g. relating to bibliometric evaluation practices, possible project collaboration at cross-national level.

Submission format: Regular submission.

Organizers: Gustaf Nelhans, Tim Engels, Raf Guns, A.I.M. Jakaria Rahman, Eeva Savolainen, Janne Pölönen

Back to top

Reflexive bibliometrics: new perspectives on practices of scrutinization in scientometrics

Special track description: Nowadays, scientometricians increasingly debate “unanticipated effects” of quantitative indicators and measures. However, the complex relations between the world of indicators and the social world are still not fully understood. The goal of this session is to collect and reflect upon practices that relate the world of objects to the world of indicators and how scrutinization of indicators is organized within our profession.

Special track format: The session will be held in a campfire atmosphere. Topics will be pre-screened to capture divergent views on the topic. Two interactive talks of 20 minutes will be held in opposite corners of the session room. Speakers will be kindly asked to refrain from using slides and moderators will encourage discussion on the topic. After the interactive session rapporteurs will briefly summarize the positions and lessons learned for the other group respectively. After three rounds in this format there will be a 15 minute open interaction phase to allow individuals to get together and discuss topics they were not engaged in. To help identify changing group memberships each contribution will be coded with a unique color and represented by color badges to help participants identify interesting conversation partners.

Submission format: Contributions should cover either practical experiences or situations in which scrutinization of metrics became problematic and how the dispute was solved. We encourage conceptual contributions as well as position papers. We kindly welcome contributions of a maximum of 3000 words.

Organizers: Stephan Gauch, Clemens Blümel, Alex Fenton, Jacqueline Sachse, Max Leckert

Back to top

Science communication and research impact

Special track description: This track aims to showcase studies and spark discussions about topics connected to the relationship between science communication and quantifications of research impact. This for instance includes analyses of interdependencies between scholarly works‘ impact and their presence on channels for external science communication, e.g. mainstream media, or examinations of how researchers use different channels for the dissemination of research. Apart from empirical studies, also theoretical discussions of external communication channels’ roles in the scientific communication/publication system and resulting implications for research assessment exercises are of interest.

Special track format: The track will feature presentations (approximately 15 minutes per presentation, plus 5 minutes for questions and discussion), which will be followed by a panel discussion or a fishbowl conversation to discuss lessons learned.

Submission format: We invite regular submissions of original research (including work in progress), as well as submissions of hands-on introductions and best practices for obtaining and/or using data about research mentions in channels of external science communication.

Organizers: Timothy D. Bowman, Max Brede, Saeed-Ul Hassan, Steffen Lemke, Isabella Peters

Back to top

New approaches to research funding studies?

Special track description: There is a need for new approaches to research funding studies. These would go beyond examining individual funding instruments and funders. Opportunities clearly exist for more coherent, systematic, theoretically-informed, long-term research approaches to dynamic funder and funding configurations and their various effects. The question remains, how best to approach this new research agenda? In this track we suggest a novel conceptual framework based on the ongoing research project ‘PROSECON’ . In the session we will present this framework as a potential new lens for research funding studies and invite responses to it and reflections from invited scholars. The Special Track session will focus on two main aspects:

  1. Funder and funding configurations as a new conceptual approach to research funding studies, addressing its scope, contribution and potential complementarities to other approaches.
  2. Potential links between funding configurations on the one side, and research activities and impacts on the other. The latter will include dynamics of academic and non-academic networks as antecedents of scholarly and societal effects related to types of funding configurations.

Special track format: The format will be a 20-minute presentation of a conceptual framework prepared by the Track’s steering group. This will be followed by three 15-minute presentations by discussants, responding to the presented paper and the above key questions. The final 25-30 minutes will be for open discussion between presenters and the audience. Three presenters selected for this Special Track will be invited directly.

Submission format: Closed.

Organizers: Kaare Aagaard, Irene Ramos-Vielba, Duncan Thomas, Maria Theresa Norn

Back to top

Gendering R&I organisations and content to enhance research integrity and quality

Special track description: This track will focus on the gender equality interventions in research organisations, which involve a) fostering gender balance in research, b) ensuring gender balance in decision-making, and c) integrating gender and sex analysis in research content. Emphasis is on conceptual approaches, theoretical frameworks, indicators and ways to explore gender equality in R&I, focusing on the organizational and institutional contexts using a gender lens. In particular, the track aims to address the following questions:

  • How can we design, monitor and assess gender equality interventions in R&I going beyond traditional approaches?
  • Why use gender-sensitive approaches in gender equality programme assessments?
  • How can we measure the gender dimension in research content?
  • Is access to international research and collaboration gendered?
  • How can we explore the influence of internationalization on the gender balance in research organisations and local research agendas?

Special track format: World-café: the track will be organised in a café-style open dialogue in order to provide an opportunity for brainstorming and discussion of important ideas in smaller groups. The café-style format will be centred on the above-mentioned questions over five café-tables with a short introductory talk from the invited speakers, including Susanne Bührer, Mita Marra, Rachel Palmén, Kathrin Zippel, Agnete Vabø and Cathrine Egeland. At the end of the session, lessons learned and ways forward with two key recommendations from each table will be collected and presented to all the workshop participants.

Submission format: Closed

Organizers: Evanthia K. Schmidt

Back to top

Gender bias in research funding?

Special track description: In recent years, a variety of studies have been carried out to investigate whether and to what extent gender bias exists in the grant allocation process. The findings are contradictory. Several studies conclude that there are no significant gender differences in research funding. Some studies claim that male applicants are favoured over women, and still others see preferences for women, especially in those disciplines where they are underrepresented. The contradictory results are related to different empirical data, different methodological approaches, and attention to different aspects of the application process. The aim of the special track is to advance a process of clarification by bringing together researchers who are currently working on the topic.

Special track format: Five presentations with discussion. After an overview of the current state of research, two elements of the grant application process are investigated in more detail (application behaviour and self-presentation in CVs and proposals). This will be followed by two presentations that examine gender differences in grant allocation by Swedish and Chinese research funding agencies.

Submission format: Closed.

Organizers: Torger Möller, Laura Cruz-Castro, Luis Sanz-Menéndez, Peter van den Besselaar, Ulf Sandström, Lin Zhang, Gunnar Sivertsen

Back to top

Open Metadata

Special track description: The aim of the special track on open metadata is to provide an update on recent developments in the open availability of metadata on scholarly publications and to discuss ways in which the STI community can benefit from and contribute to these developments. The special track builds on a special session on the same topic organized last year at the ISSI conference in Rome.

Special track format: To be determined.

Submission format: To be determined.

Organizers: Ludo Waltman, Ivan Heibi, Vincent Larivière, Silvio Peroni, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Nees Jan van Eck

Back to top

Between a rock and a hard place: Navigating policy demands of indicators for fostering Open Science and RRI

Special track description: Visions around Open Science (OS) or Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are related to changes in a wide variety of research practices that are contingent on specific contexts. However, there are understandable pressures in policy to deliver one-size-fits-all indicators. In these cases, we find ourselves, as indicator experts, between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand we would like to produce indicators that support transformations which we may perceive as positive, such as OS and RRI. On the other hand, giving out indicators without serious contextualisation is likely to result in very flawed and problematic descriptions of the practices under transformation. For which reasons and to which extent should we reach a compromise with policy demands? Or are we irresponsible if we don't deliver indicators that help policy makers support and legitimize valuable visions?

Special track format: Short presentations followed by open debate. We will have introductions of two EU experiences that faced these challenges: Super-MoRRI project on Monitoring RRI, and the EC Expert Group on 'Indicators for fostering open knowledge practices in science and scholarship'.

Submission format: Closed.

Organizers: Ismael Rafols, Ingeborg Meijer, Niel Mejlgaard, Richard Woolley, Paul Wouters

Back to top

Professional competencies in research evaluation

Special track description: Repeated calls for responsible research metrics as well as the lack of prevalent institutionalized qualification programmes highlight the need to investigate which qualifications and competencies enable a proficient application of bibliometric methods and indicators in assessment contexts. The session sets forth to inquire more deeply into the nature of professional competence in evaluative bibliometrics. Taking competence research as a point of departure, three competency dimensions are distinguished which are relevant for the domain of bibliometric research assessment: Cognitive, functional and ethical competencies. The session asks whether professional competence in evaluative bibliometrics differs according to specific user perspectives (e. g. librarians, research managers and policy analysts as those users applying bibliometric methods versus funding organizations and decision makers as clients translating bibliometrics into real-world decisions) and how new, holistic and transformative approaches to research evaluation take into consideration dimensions of professional competence.
Invited speakers include Jonathan Adams, Florian Bayer, Jonathan Best, Anne-Marie Coriat, Tjitske Holtrop, Thed van Leeuwen, Ismael Ràfols, Steve Reding, Sarah de Rijcke, Martin Szomszor and Jürgen Wastl.

Special track format: The session takes the form of two fish bowl discussions each lasting 45 minutes. They will be initiated by short lightning talks, with brief commentary by selected commentators. Afterwards, the discussion will be opened to all participants.

Submission format: Closed.

Organizers: Sabrina Petersohn, Stefan Schelske, Christoph Thiedig

Back to top

Research funding

Special track description: The aim of the special track on research funding is to discuss research projects dealing with public and private research funding organizations, their internal dynamics, and their role in the science system. The special track will also provide an update on the activities of the Research on Research Institute (RoRI; http://researchonresearch.org/), in which STI researchers and research funders work together in collaborative research projects. Opportunities for STI researchers to contribute to RoRI will be discussed.

Special track format: To be determined.

Submission format: To be determined.

Organizers: Sarah de Rijcke, Thomas Franssen, Stephen Pinfield, Ismael Rafols, Vincent Traag, Ludo Waltman, James Wilsdon, Helen Woods

Back to top

Important dates & files


Important dates

Conference
Conference dates: September 2nd - 4th, 2020
Early Bird registration (final date): July 15, 2020
Final registration: August 21, 2020
Special Tracks
Call for Special Tracks announced: November 15, 2010
Submission deadline, special tracks (no extension possible): January 31, 2020
Notification of acceptance, special tracks: February 10, 2020
Papers and posters
Call for Papers & Posters announced: February 12, 2020
Submission deadline, papers & posters: April 1 April 15, 2020
Notification of acceptance, papers & posters: June 15, 2020