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II.3.9. Knowledge Lab: Scientometrics for scientific excellence

IDUB Programme Objective(s)

  • I.3 Support for the creation of research programmes and teams that will become future centres of excellence, including plans for their internationalisation
  • I.4 Maintaining a strong infrastructure base for world-class research
  • II.1 Strengthening research cooperation in strategic partnerships with other universities
  • II.3 Improving the capacity to cooperate by increasing research capabilities
  • V.3 Increasing organisational capacity to acquire and conduct research (especially in the Priority Research Areas – POB), including analyses and data (and bibliometric data) to help develop strategies for disciplines and support researchers’ careers

Name of POB/activity group



The main objective is to create a centre at the University of Warsaw which provides access to a locally-maintained version of the Web of Knowledge (WoS) database (provided by Clarivate Analytics), which will enable the development of scientific research and interdisciplinary applications, with potential for publication in prestigious periodicals. The WoS data will provide a starting point for the development of the laboratory’s activities towards advanced research in science, technology, and innovation, including the impact of public policies on these areas. In addition to its own research activities, the centre will provide access to scientific data for scientists and students and promote the use of these resources.

Following the example of leading foreign centres (see below), other collections of scientific and innovation-related data (e.g., Microsoft Academic Graph, POLON, patent databases, etc.) will gradually be added to the laboratory’s resources.


Advanced scientific research requires efficient data access, well beyond the possibilities offered by the WoS web interface (provided at UW by BUW/ICM), in terms of query complexity and the form/amount of data that can be processed. Local versions of scientific databases are maintained in important centres of scientific research. The data is usually made available in the form of raw XML files, as well as pre-processed SQL relational databases. Due to its size (several petabytes), the data is maintained on servers which provide computing power and access control (in accordance with the strict licensing requirements for using WoS).

The University of Warsaw has modest, dispersed potential in advanced, quantitative, scientific, and scientometric research (which is why many activities are directed at the development of employee competences). The creation of the laboratory and the establishment of a new scientific team will fill this niche and facilitate a synergy of the potential that is currently available at the University. Systematic implementation may lead to new opportunities for creating high quality scientific results, especially publications in prestigious journals, and generating citations. Among the social sciences, research on scientometrics and scientific policy breaks through to the most prestigious periodicals rather straightforwardly; this may be evidenced by the fact that in 2019, Prof. Cassidy Sugimoto, a middle-generation specialist in scientometrics from Indiana University, Bloomington joined the group of “Highly Cited Researchers” (as of 2019, there is no one from UW in this group).

Inspiration (good practices)

The laboratory will draw upon the experiences of foreign centres, above all (1) CADRE – Collaborative Archive Data Research Environment at Indiana University, Bloomington, and (2) Cloud Kotta – from the Knowledge Lab at the University of Chicago.

International cooperation

As a result of this activity, a centre will be created that is unique to Central and Eastern Europe; it will provide the opportunity to conduct research with very high publication potential, attract external researchers to the University, and develop international cooperation with similar leading centres (e.g., the University of Chicago, Indiana University, Bloomington, Leiden University, the University of Sussex, and Université de Montréal). As well, the platform for cooperation will be the 4EU+ Alliance, especially in the Sorbonne, Heidelberg, and Copenhagen, where internationally recognised researchers are working on similar topics.

Support to develop the skills of doctoral students and young researchers

The laboratory will support doctoral students and young researchers through a series of specialised trainings, seminars, workshops, doctoral scholarships and microgrants to help them develop their work.


  • The Laboratory will (1) carry out its own research work, and (2) provide substantive and technical support for work in other units of the University.
  • Within the framework of the laboratory’s own activities, (1) basic research (including that with funding from sources other than IDUB) and (2) work commissioned by external entities will be developed (expertise in the field of scientometrics/scientific policy/innovation policy for the ministries, NCRD, NCIS, NAWA, FNP, the Marshal’s Offices, PARP, etc.). The estimated market for this type of research in Poland is over 1 million PLN per year).
  • During 2020-2023, the laboratory team will include a data steward with substantive governance of data access, and at least 4 postdocs (activities will be undertaken in order to recruit people with experience abroad), 5 doctoral students, 6-8 employees from the University of Warsaw (remunerated for task work) and 4-6 graduate students.
  • Other substantive activities:
    • Training (technical and content-related) for users of WoS data (and other scientometric data).
    • A series of seminars and a presentation of research findings obtained by using WoS data (and other scientometric data/research on innovation and scientific policy), including foreign speakers (also from outside of Europe).
    • Annual workshops with specialists from abroad (several days of dedicated intensive training in Poland).
    • Financing for participation in external training courses (summer schools, workshops, etc.) for laboratory staff and employees from the University of Warsaw.
    • Internal (UW) microgrants for costs related to the creation of database extensions (e.g., geolocation of affiliations, algorithms to identify unique authors, the creation of links with patent databases, ORCID, Microsoft Academic Graph, etc., including the costs of access to other commercial data).
    • Financing for cooperation with foreign institutions (trips to cooperating centres, conferences, seminars, and consultations).
    • Preparation of grant applications to external entities (for projects using the laboratory’s infrastructure).
    • Preparation of bids for expert opinions, ordered by public institutions (ministries, NCRD, NCN, NAWA, FNP, the Marshal’s offices, PARP, etc.).
    • Support for publishing results of research using WoS data (proofreading, etc.).
    • Information and promotion of the laboratory’s services (addressed to the UW community).

Development potential (beyond the scope of this activity)

Creating a programme of master’s and/or postgraduate studies (“The Science of Science”, “science studies”, or more practically, “Science & Innovation Policy”) – with initial recruitment not earlier than 2023. (It is necessary to develop human resources potential.)

Coordinating unit

  • Centre for European Regional and Local Studies (EUROREG)
  • Institute of the Americas and Europe

Entities involved in implementation

  • BUW (for bibliometric training, bibliometric analysis and repository building activity)
  • Ranking team
  • ICM
  • All of the units in UW that are interested in access to scientific data