Research Evaluation in the Age of Global Digital Scholarship

Real World
Location: Mission City B1
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Beginning in the 1960s with the explosion of post war science, new methods for understanding the relative value of a researcher’s or institution’s scholarly output were developed. Significant among these was the development of the citation index by Dr. Eugene Garfield – which ties an ongoing community based valuation to a researcher’s peer-reviewed published papers. Metrics based on citation indexing now contribute to the assessment of scholarly journal quality, institutional ranking, and even an individual researcher’s tenure and funding opportunities.

With the coming of the digital age, data-driven science is changing the research landscape. With advances in computational methods and computer technologies, the opportunity to collect and share the information that underlies research is increasingly easy and cheap. This trend increases both the opportunity for global collaboration and provides new avenues and challenges to the evaluation of scholarly work. Original work needs to be identified and similar work needs to be differentiated, from among an exponentially growing set of digital objects. There is a need to be able to computationally filter, validate, and analyze this work, while integrating the input and direct evaluation of the scientific expert community.

We use two projects, the Thomson Reuters Global Institutional Profile Project and the Citation Laureate Nobel Prize Predictions to illustrate the changing landscape for both discovery and evaluation. Our discussion will include some interesting visualizations and statistics about the current evolution of scientific knowledge. Finally, we will discuss how traditional measures are evolving to showcase research strengths, identify experts, track growth trends, and strategically manage investment funding.

Photo of Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

Thomson Reuters

Brian Wilson is Vice President, Chief Architect for the Healthcare & Science business of Thomson Reuters. Currently responsible for enterprise architecture and strategic technology, Brian has held various technology management and advisory roles at Thomson Reuters with a primary focus on the business of science.

While past work includes services development, systems performance, search, big content analytics, emerging technology, and social networking, Brian has recently been a key technical contributor to the Open Researcher and Contributor ID Initiative.

Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware.

When not thinking about the future of science and healthcare, Brian keeps his daughters entertained with baking cookies and vacations to exotic locales.


  • Thomson Reuters
  • EMC Data Computing Division
  • EnterpriseDB
  • Microsoft
  • Gnip
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • IBM
  • Windows Azure MarketPlace DataMarket
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Aster Data
  • Cloudera
  • Clustrix
  • DataStax, Inc. (formerly Riptano, Inc.)
  • Digital Reasoning Systems
  • Heritage Provider Network
  • Impetus
  • Jaspersoft
  • Karmasphere
  • LinkedIn
  • MarkLogic
  • Pentaho
  • Pervasive
  • Revolution Analytics
  • Splunk
  • Urban Mapping
  • Wolfram|Alpha
  • Esri
  • ParAccel
  • Tableau Software

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