Conference Topics


The conference builds on an extensive concept of organizations, which includes research performing organizations (higher education institutions, public research organizations, private companies), as well as intermediaries with different functions in the research systems, like funding agencies and technology transfer offices.

The topic is particularly relevant in the current context. First, scholars increasingly recognize the importance of organizations in managing and steering the research system and in providing framework conditions for the research activities of individuals and groups. Second, S&T indicators design has increasingly focused on the organizational level: several large-scale projects are currently producing comparable indicators at the level of research organizations for the whole European space, thus opening unprecedented opportunities for analytical work, and debates about their appropriate use for policy purposes.Large initiatives include projects developing indicators for the higher education sector, the use of bibliometric indicators for the creation of rankings of institutional research performance, new developments concerning academic patents, the development of datasets covering different aspect of the research activities, from research projects to research impact assessment and research programs. Harmonization and interoperability of these databases within the Research Infrastructure for Science and Innovation Studies (RISIS) EU project is likely to further accelerate this process.

As new datasets become available and further investments in their development are being planned, new challenges emerge while some of the traditional difficulties remain These include among others: data comparability across countries, methodological issues concerning aggregation in the construction of indicators, the analytical methods for the exploitation of new datasets in scholarly work, the interaction between analysis at the organizational level and at the group and individual levels, the definition of organizational boundaries and their implications for indicator design and use, and the application of the new datasets and indicators to the management of organizations. Therefore the specific focus of the STI2015 conference will be on:

  1. Advances in the development of new datasets and indicators at the organizational level, and in methodologies to exploit these data for scholarly analysis. This will include conceptual frameworks and approaches to identify organizational boundaries, methods to match different datasets, the development of new analytical techniques, etc.
  2. New insights on research organizations based on the exploitation of these data, based on theoretical frameworks from sociology and economy of organizations.
  3. Analysis of the use of new datasets and indicators in the management of scientific organizations, and the implications for organizational development and structure of new managerial approaches based on the use of novel datasets-


Following topics are suggested but not exclusive for submissions:

  • Country and European-level characterization of the landscape of research organizations (including higher education).
  • Advancements in methodologies to develop organizational-level indicators (both on the output and input side): definitions, comparability, aggregation, data sources.
  • Efficiency and performance measures and analyses, and their use in organizational contexts.
  • Analysis of the interaction between individuals and organizations (concerning careers, performance, etc.), and between organizations and groups..
  • Indicator-based analysis of the interaction between public policies and organizations, both at the intermediary and performer level (including the analysis of the impact of funding systems).