Bibliometrics and Patent Indicators for the Science and Engineering Indicators 2016 ─ Comparison of 2016 Bibliometric Indicators to 2014 Indicators

January 2016

Science-Metrix has prepared the bibliometric and technometric statistics for three chapters of the Science & Engineering Indicators 2016 (SEI 2016). Elsevier’s Scopus database was selected for preparing the bibliometric statistics, which in all previous editions of the publication had been computed using the Science Citation Index (SCI) and the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), both now a part of Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science. This report, Comparison of 2016 Bibliometric Indicators to 2014 Indicators, outlines the impact the change of database has had on the statistics, and will aid readers to make a more meaningful interpretation of the bibliometric indicators compiled for SEI 2016. This comparison is solely useable to understand how the change of dataset has affected the statistics, and should not be used to compare the two commercial offerings.

The Science & Engineering Indicators (SEI) provide a series of quantitative data on science and engineering activities in the United States, along with contextual data on other countries. The SEI report and accompanying documents are prepared by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) on behalf of the National Science Board, which has the ultimate responsibility to report to the president and Congress about the state of science and engineering in the US.

Indicators on scientific production have been included in the SEI since its first edition in 1972. At that time, bibliometrics was in its early stages of development, and the SEI was a pioneer in the use of bibliometric indicators outside of academia. A group led by Francis Narin at Computer Horizon Inc. (CHI) developed and computed the bibliometric indicators for the first edition of the SEI. This group and its successors eventually added indicators based on patents and continuously improved and expanded the indicators that were included in subsequent editions of the SEI, up until the most recent edition published in 2014.

Science-Metrix was commissioned by SRI International and the NSF to compute the bibliometric and patent statistics for three chapters of SEI 2016—the first time in more than 40 years that a different team had been selected to compute these statistics. These chapters cover Academic Research and Development (Chapter 5), Industry, Technology, and the Global Marketplace (Chapter 6), and State Indicators (Chapter 8).

Access the full Science & Engineering Indicators 2016 via the National Science Foundation website.

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