The Hague University

Universities of applied sciences make spectacular strides in research

Universities of applies sciences are achieving growing quality in research. Today, their academic publications are head shoulders above the worldwide average, representing a radical shift from just a few years ago.

Back in the years between 2002 and 2005, citations of academic articles by researchers from universities of applied sciences were fairly thin on the ground. But since then they have expanded their influence by more than 50 per cent. Now these researchers are scoring above the average in their individual fields of expertise.

Citation impact score

The prevailing method used to determine the authority of research is to look at its citation impact score. In other words, how often do other academics refer to that research? Though there are pitfalls to keep in mind when applying this method, a citation impact score does give a good impression of academic influence. The score establishes an academic pecking order, as it were.

Worldwide average

Though research universities are still a long way ahead, the level of research at universities of applies sciences is certainly catching up. Where they received 25 per cent fewer citations than their international peers in the years between 2002 and 2005, between 2006 and 2009 they actually topped the worldwide average by 13 per cent.

One contributing factor is that researchers at universities of applied sciences do not yet publish in academic journals on a large scale. Last year, they accounted for only 0.6 per cent of all academic output in the Netherlands.

Spectacular strides

The above developments are described in a new report on the indicators of knowledge, technology and innovation submitted by State Secretary Zijlstra to the Lower House of Dutch parliament. The report’s authors also offer explanations for the spectacular strides in academic research achieved at these institutions.

The growth can thus be attributed in part to the fact that these publications are ‘concentrated in a smaller number of subjects’, together with the fact that the number of publications in these areas ‘still tends to be extremely modest’. As examples, the authors cite environmental sciences, fundamental life sciences and art, culture & music, ‘in which it is relatively easy to achieve a high citation impact score’.

Source: Link - The Hague University of Applied Sciences’ magazine