(16 Mar 2020) The International Center for the Study of Research (ICSR) announced the successful launch of ICSR Lab today. With this new resource, ICSR provides researchers with a powerful cloud-based platform which enables them to analyze large structured metadata datasets. The new service contributes towards ICSR’s goal to further the study of research and thus to contribute to the evidence base supporting the practice of research strategy, evaluation and policy.
ICSR Lab allows researchers to access and perform computation on research metadata including those that power Elsevier solutions such as Scopus and PlumX. Throughout 2020, ICSR will focus on providing additional data sources, such as abstracts, funding data and SciVal Topics of Prominence. In addition, a pilot study will assess how ICSR Lab is used with the aim of further improving the platform and datasets therein to meet the needs of informetrics researchers and librarians.
“We are excited to launch ICSR Lab today. This powerful new platform will not only support the work of the informetrics research community, but also enables us to actively engage with researchers to further develop and refine qualitative and quantitative aspects of research evaluation to ultimately make research assessment more transparent and robust,” said Dr. Andrew Plume, ICSR President and Chair of the ICSR Advisory Board, and Senior Director Research Evaluation at Elsevier.
Whether for exploratory projects, replication studies or developing new research metrics and indicators, ICSR Lab will enable researchers to conduct impactful studies on topics of relevance to ICSR’s research themes, supported by Elsevier datasets. The platform is available at no cost for researchers for the duration of their project. To get started, researchers can now apply for access by submitting a short proposal which will be subject to peer review by members of the ICSR Advisory Board. Applications from researchers of any career stage or experience level are encouraged and prior experience with these data sources is not necessarily required.
“The ICSR works closely with organizational partners and researchers at all career stages to jointly develop and improve the way we measure and evaluate success and influence in research – a topic which is still hotly debated in the research community. ICSR Lab gives researchers full control over their analysis and allows them to collaborate and to advance our understanding of research,” explained Dr. Éric Archambault, ICSR Advisory Board member and General Manager of 1science, Elsevier.
By allowing the sharing of summary results alongside publications without a license the ICSR demonstrates its support of open research and open science. ICSR Lab also explicitly supports replication studies. ICSR Lab is powered by the platform Databricks in which analyses are coded in Python or SQL, allowing researchers complete control over their calculations.