Elsevier Launches SciVal Spotlight: New Tool Provides Multidisciplinary View Of Research Performance

Amsterdam, 29 June 2009 – Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of SciVal Spotlight, a customized web-based tool that offers institutions a unique multidisciplinary perspective of research performance to evaluate, establish and execute more informed research strategies.

SciVal Spotlight uses an innovative visualization technique to produce customized maps that provide graphical views of an institution’s performance over time and across scientific fields, focusing on specific topical areas. By pinpointing a university’s topical strengths and identifying leading researchers and institutions in each area, the tool is designed to help academic decision-makers optimize funding allocations and enhance hiring and collaboration decisions.

Quantifying the overall size of each topical area, the tool allows institutions to understand the significance of their article and market shares and how they rank compared to competitors in those areas. It also assesses article and market growth or decline over the last five years, offering an average rate for each using a two year sliding scale. Additionally, it determines if an institution’s work is building upon the most recent discoveries; providing a “state of the art quotient” by analyzing how recent the citations are within its published output.

“We recognized a need to change the way research is currently being measured, and designed the tool to provide a more holistic and integrated view of performance,” explained Jay Katzen, Managing Director, Academic and Government Products. “By capturing the unique research fingerprint of each institution, we can help academic executives better understand their core strengths and potential weaknesses so they can develop and implement successful long-term research strategies.”

Moving beyond the traditional method of measuring research output by journal count, SciVal Spotlight is based on a more detailed model of the current structure of science. The model, covering virtually all of the research being published across the globe, was developed using co-citation analysis of a comprehensive database that includes 6.1 million separate papers published between 2004 and 2008, and another two million of the highly-cited references from these papers.

Leveraging this new model of science, SciVal Spotlight identifies and focuses on the inter-related work being done within an institution which represents the unique topical areas or “distinctive competencies” in which it is a leader. It also offers an opportunity to better understand which institutions are true competitors by revealing those that compete within the same research competencies.

“The square peg, round hole nature of evaluating research performance based on the broad classifications of journals no longer captures the reality of today’s multidisciplinary scientific landscape,” explains Kevin Boyack, a senior development advisor for Elsevier. “SciVal Spotlight provides academic decision-makers with a more accurate picture of research productivity. It allows them to evaluate performance based on the breakthroughs they are trying to achieve, rather than the classification of the journals in which their researchers are publishing articles.”

# # #

About the Elsevier SciVal Suite
The SciVal suite of services delivers intelligence solutions to help the academic and government research communities evaluate, establish and execute their research strategies more effectively. The suite currently includes SciVal Spotlight and SciVal Funding.

With traditional research performance measurement options unable to capture the reality of today’s multidisciplinary scientific landscape, the SciVal Spotlight tool is designed to provide research managers with a more accurate picture of any institution’s unique research strengths and opportunities.

SciVal Funding is an online funding intelligence solution that enables researchers and research administrators to better compete for research funding. The tool provides access to over 5,000 funding sources and includes targeted recommendations based on pre-populated research profiles as well as an extensive history of awarded grants.

For more information on the SciVal Suite, please visit http://www.scival.com.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence,and ClinicalKey—and publishes over 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media Contact: 
Jessica Disch
+1 212 752 8338
jdisch@psbpr.com