Research Topic

Fostering Scientific Capacities: Towards a Global Scientific System

About this Research Topic

The ultimate goal of many national and international research agendas is to achieve leadership and so-called scientific excellence. This is done in a variety of ways: funding policies are optimized to obtain a competitive advantage, collaboration and mobility are incentivized in order to leverage the expertise and scientific capacities of many nations and sectors of scientific work, specialization is promoted to focus resources whereas interdisciplinary research tends to have a positive influence on knowledge production and innovation, peer-reviewed journals for disseminating research results are considered in the baseline of assessment exercises for promoting and funding research. However the long-standing problem of how to classify the journals indexed in the main international and multidisciplinary databases and their impact requirements in evaluation criteria are still under a continuous debate for the scientific community. The call for articulating evaluative instruments and frameworks for comparative benchmarking and a more sensible use of bibliometric indicators in research assessment contexts is a part of the research agenda. Relevance to society is increasingly sought and with it, priorities are established to promote social welfare and economic growth.

Scientific systems are dependent upon individual scholars. Therefore, understanding the factors that contribute to career trajectory, interpersonal relationships (such as mentorship and collaboration), choice of research topic, and the reward system of science are all necessary to construct an appropriate science policy. Strategies for the development of research agendas are therefore dependent upon the knowledge of individual actors in this network.

Historically, a few leading countries dominate the global scientific landscape. However, the contemporary political and economic landscape come to challenge the traditional hegemony of the developed countries. Accountability in resource allocation is a key aspect for the strength and wellbeing of the scientific system. The research evaluation of a single nation-state in an interconnected scientific world, where the money invested in a particular country can be profited from by others and collaborators partners plays a key role in developing and performance of scientific research, has important implications for the design of research policies, research assessment procedures, and accountability. These critical changes in stratification bear additional analysis—particularly due to the heterogeneous contexts of many of the emerging countries.

This dynamic environment requires greater understanding and analysis to highlight avenues that administrators and policy makers can use to better foster the scientific capacities of various nations and lead to higher scientific performance across the globe.

This Research Topic aims to publish and promote papers that investigate strategies developed by research institutions and nations during the past decades to define and carry out their research agendas, the factors they take into account, including those that relate to national and disciplinary contexts, and assessing the effectiveness of these strategies. At the individual level, the processes by which researchers react to national policies and set their research agendas are as well welcome.


Keywords: research agendas, disciplinary portfolios, research evaluation, scientific collaboration, mobility, research funding, bibliometric indicators, socio-economic indicators, scholarly communication, scientometrics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The ultimate goal of many national and international research agendas is to achieve leadership and so-called scientific excellence. This is done in a variety of ways: funding policies are optimized to obtain a competitive advantage, collaboration and mobility are incentivized in order to leverage the expertise and scientific capacities of many nations and sectors of scientific work, specialization is promoted to focus resources whereas interdisciplinary research tends to have a positive influence on knowledge production and innovation, peer-reviewed journals for disseminating research results are considered in the baseline of assessment exercises for promoting and funding research. However the long-standing problem of how to classify the journals indexed in the main international and multidisciplinary databases and their impact requirements in evaluation criteria are still under a continuous debate for the scientific community. The call for articulating evaluative instruments and frameworks for comparative benchmarking and a more sensible use of bibliometric indicators in research assessment contexts is a part of the research agenda. Relevance to society is increasingly sought and with it, priorities are established to promote social welfare and economic growth.

Scientific systems are dependent upon individual scholars. Therefore, understanding the factors that contribute to career trajectory, interpersonal relationships (such as mentorship and collaboration), choice of research topic, and the reward system of science are all necessary to construct an appropriate science policy. Strategies for the development of research agendas are therefore dependent upon the knowledge of individual actors in this network.

Historically, a few leading countries dominate the global scientific landscape. However, the contemporary political and economic landscape come to challenge the traditional hegemony of the developed countries. Accountability in resource allocation is a key aspect for the strength and wellbeing of the scientific system. The research evaluation of a single nation-state in an interconnected scientific world, where the money invested in a particular country can be profited from by others and collaborators partners plays a key role in developing and performance of scientific research, has important implications for the design of research policies, research assessment procedures, and accountability. These critical changes in stratification bear additional analysis—particularly due to the heterogeneous contexts of many of the emerging countries.

This dynamic environment requires greater understanding and analysis to highlight avenues that administrators and policy makers can use to better foster the scientific capacities of various nations and lead to higher scientific performance across the globe.

This Research Topic aims to publish and promote papers that investigate strategies developed by research institutions and nations during the past decades to define and carry out their research agendas, the factors they take into account, including those that relate to national and disciplinary contexts, and assessing the effectiveness of these strategies. At the individual level, the processes by which researchers react to national policies and set their research agendas are as well welcome.


Keywords: research agendas, disciplinary portfolios, research evaluation, scientific collaboration, mobility, research funding, bibliometric indicators, socio-economic indicators, scholarly communication, scientometrics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2017 Manuscript
31 December 2017 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2017 Manuscript
31 December 2017 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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