News & Events

Science Map is a map of science that shows mutual relation among research areas in which active research is being conducted. NISTEP periodically has been publishing a series of Science Map since 2003. The map is generated by the clustering of top 1% highly cited papers via the co-citation analysis and by the mapping of the research areas on the two-dimensional space.

This report shows results of Science Map 2010 and Science Map 2012 and discussed time series changes of Science Maps since 2002. Trends of inter-/multi- disciplinary research, international co-authorship, and share of Japan and other major countries are analyzed.

In the Science Map 2012, we proposed a new concept of Sci-GEO chart which aims to classify research areas in terms of continuity of research areas and cognitive linkage among other research areas. We applied the Sci-GEO chart to Science Maps 2002 – 2012, and found that small island type research areas, having no continuity from the previous Science Map and showing weak cognitive linkage with other research, account for about 40% of all research areas and continent type research areas, having continuity from the previous Science Map and showing strong cognitive linkage with other research, accounts for about 20% of all research areas.

This study investigates the current status and characteristics of social and regional engagement, including management aspects, relationship with government, continuing professional development and consulting services, of higher education institutions (universities and colleges) in Japan. With regards to social and regional engagement, many institutions have provided a variety of program. Especially national universities, which are often classified as comprehensive universities including sience and technology departments, have a wide range of programs in places that facilitate social and regional engagement. Many of higher education institutions have developed the organizational structure and operational management. While many national and public universities have set up incentivizing measures to encourage professors to engage with the society, many of private universities and junior colleges have yet to develop incentivizing measures. Although many national universities actively have engaged with their society, the procurement of the necessary human resource and financial capital to conduct programs is a critical challenge in the future.There were a wide variety of social and regional engagement programs run by different institutions that differ depending on institution classification, specialization, and size. Instead of standardizing these programs by applying a unified set of rules and guidelines, instituting a diverse system that reflects the unique organizational characteristics of the institution and needs of surrounding society would be more effective in developing social and regional engagement programs. By allowing institutions to devise a system that fits their schools and region, higher education institutions can facilitate more dynamic and active programs for their society and region.

“Science and Technology Indicators” is a basic resource for understanding Japanese science and technology activities based on objective, quantitative data. It classifies science and technology activities into five categories, R&D Expenditure; R&D Personnel; Higher Education; The Output of R&D; and Science, Technology, and Innovation. The multiple relevant indicators (approximately 150 indicators) show the state of Japanese science and technology activities. “Japanese Science and Technology Indicators 2014” adds a new indicator that utilizes the results of the Japanese National Innovation Survey in time-series comparison. In indicators related to human resources development, data representation has been improved to more clearly show the status of women and international students. Additionally, seven column-style articles use indicators to focus on timely issues and specific themes from today’s society.

Using “Japanese Science and Technology Indicators 2014” to look at conditions in Japan, total Japanese R&D expenditure has changed little since 2009. The percentage of researchers who are female is especially small in the business enterprise sector. The number of female students enrolling in Japanese higher education institutions is rising. Japan ranked number one in the world in share of patents (patent families) during the 2000s. Japan’s competitive superiority of its high-technology industries is falling, but the competitiveness in medium high-technology industries is maintained high level.

NISTEP created a database on resource allocation (budget on science and technology) and important activities (thousands articles from white paper on science and technology) in FY2011-12, in which data was collected in the past decades. The database aims at organizing and overviewing data on science, technology and innovation (STI). In the study, NISTEP held a workshop with policy makers and policy researchers on STI policy to discuss issues on organization and utilization of policy data, including the NISTEP’s database. We gained some insights from the discussion such as the necessity for future policy formulation to research policy context in the past, data sets composed both of published fact data, data explanation from the standpoint of policy makers. As another theme, we surveyed existing databases on STI policy, such as government’s budget on science and technology and governmental activities, both within and outside Japan. We put some databases together in the report, from the Japan’s ministries, the international organizations (OECD, EU), the US institutes (OSTP, AAAS), the UK institutes and so on.

The next became clear as the result of Statistical Analysis of Science and Technology Interest Level, Nobel Prize Award Interest Level, and The Science and Technology Contribution Expect Degree to The Japanese Economic Maintenance or Improvement in Global Competitiveness from the data of Research material No.211 “The Change of the Public Attitudes to Science and Technology”.
For Improvement policies such as Science and Technology Interest Level, Information dissemination which led the Internet about basic research is needed. For Improvement policies such as Nobel Prize Award Interest Level, the construction of structure which makes information spread more widely in order to be dependent on a respondent attribute from subjectivity, for example, a museum, a substantial science café are needed. The Science and Technology Expect Degree to Economic Competitiveness is greatly dependent on subjectivity from a respondent attribute. For the improvement, the measure which responds to the science and technology subject according to the right time is needed.
Moreover, Regardless of the existence of the Nobel Prize Award Interest Level, the Science and Technology Expect Degree to Economic Competitiveness falled during about 2 months, and it will go up after that. It seems that immediately after the Nobel Prize Award recognition of the importance of basic science increases, at the same time, recognition that the pile over the long period of basic research leads to social utilization will increase by the news about years of struggles or difficulties about research activities, etc.

In the case of postdocs in the “narrow sense” at research institutions, their future career paths are uncertain, and growing older while repeatedly renewing terms of unstable employment is becoming a problem. In this study, in order to clarify this situation and its causes, we use individual data_ from the “Survey on postdoctoral fellows regarding employment and moving-out situations – FY 2009 -,” Knowledge Infrastructure Policy Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, MEXT, to analyze transitions to permanent employment (full-time, unlimited term). Postdocs are most commonly ages 30-34. Their average number of years since completing a doctorate is 4-5. Transition to permanent employment can take as long as 5-7 years. Clearly, it is often the case that the transition is made after the training period of the postdoc, at the turning point of the end of that term. However, the average transition rate of 6.3% is markedly lower than the transition rate of general college graduates from non-regular to regular employment. The transition rates of women, those employed in science and medicine, and those employed using competitive funds in particular are significantly lower. Based on these circumstances, the necessity of providing support through the turning point that is the fifth year to enable transition to stable employment is indicated. In the future, it will be necessary to also consider the transition to permanent employment of research assistant, who appointed to fixed terms, which is not captured in this data.

For comprehensively understanding the status and trends of R&D activities in a country or a region, various data on research input and output should be collected, processed, and organized. Specifically, data analysis of research output data obtained from bibliographic databases at the organizational or departmental level (micro-data analysis) is necessarily accompanied with accurate identification of author-affiliated organizations and departments which generally have numerous name variations.

In order to help micro-data analysis conducted by researchers and policy-makers, NISTEP has carried out a project “Development of data infrastructure on R&D activities in universities and public organizations” since FY2011. Through this project, it prepares and publishes an organization name dictionary playing a central role in identification and some lists of name variations in databases for universities and public organizations in Japan. This report outlines the project, with some results of analysis on name variations of author-affiliated organizations. Finally, it discusses importance of standardization of organization name description.