Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elsevier's SciVal Strata: Evaluating Researchers

Elsevier announced the availability of SciVal Strata (an odd name) which enables a user to evaluate the performance - both actual and projected - of individual or teams of researchers. The product uses data from Scopus and the tool can be used by all members of a subscribing institution to demonstrate research excellence and to secure, allocate and measure return-on-investment of funding. Applications for the tool could include recruitment, promotion and/or collaboration and project planning.

Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources covering nearly 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 publishers and its' use in this context is interesting. It is yet another Elsevier example of using data mining to extract value where it might not otherwise be obvious.

More from the press release:

SciVal Strata allows researchers and decision makers throughout academic and governmental organizations to evaluate performance and demonstrate the value of research in ways that are most relevant to their career stage, field of expertise and topics of interest. Moreover, it enables users to envision alternate research groups by ‘dragging and dropping’ any researcher across the globe into hypothetical teams and gauge expected changes in performance by benchmarking ‘fantasy’ groups against existing groups. Developed in collaboration with research organizations and powered by the breadth of Scopus, SciVal Strata provides a unique context for decision-making by visualizing the performance of teams and researchers both inside and outside of an organization.

“This tool complements current methodologies used by universities and government agencies by measuring the performance of research teams and individuals in ways that were not possible before,” said Jay Katzen, Managing Director of Elsevier Academic and Government Products. “SciVal Strata can help users make more informed research decisions based on relevant benchmarks and measures, such as citations or document output. This new approach will empower users to more accurately assess research performance according to criteria most important to them and help justify funding, hiring decisions and partner opportunities.”

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