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Custom reporting and analysis to help you make better decisions faster

Our consultancy team delivers data-driven analytical reports and technology solutions to research policy and management clients such as higher education institutions, charities and funding agencies, publishers and policy bodies. Our in-depth knowledge of the historical and current research ecosystem gives us the perspective to get the most value from data on the research lifecycle, and our team of data scientists are experts in using innovative analytical techniques to develop revealing visualisations and powerful insights.

We understand the changing research landscape, and we can help you develop an evidence base on which to build the best research management and policy decisions.


The team, lead by Dr. Juergen Wastl, are expert data scientists and provide key capabilities in the areas of data cleaning, disambiguation, linking and text mining, over a range of scholarly data types.



Plan ahead for REF2021

Preparations for the imminent REF2021 require a great deal of time and attention for Higher Education Institutions in the UK. We can provide you with data and detailed information on your institution to help you form your submission for REF2021.



Some examples of our work


Visualizing international collaboration for Nature Publishing Group

We recently worked with editors at Nature Publishing Group to visualise institutional research collaboration, using the Nature Index – a database of the top slice of scientific research. The output shows clusters of highly collaborative institutions and how these clusters form geographical patterns, as well as highlighting how industry and academia work together in a global network. The team’s commentary to accompany the interactive network visualisation shows what this revealed.



Developing an impact website for HEFCE

Digital Science developed a database and front end to make the Impact Case Studies submitted by UK Higher Education Institutions to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) database openly available. Commissioned and hosted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the body that allocates funds to English higher education institutions and runs the REF, the output is available here.

The consultancy team took 6,900 PDF documents submitted to the REF and produced a normalized searchable database, which forms the basis for an  exploratory website, allowing institutions and policy makers to review and analyse the impact of research investments. The raw data was reorganized, indexed, tagged and redeployed before being returned to HEFCE’s system. The team also worked with the Policy Institute at King’s College London on an in-depth analytical report, and provided data content for Nature, which published a customised supplement for HEFCE.



Exploring interdisciplinarity for the UK Research Councils

We work closely with colleagues at ÜberResearch. Our German sister company holds a unique global database of research funding data including grants from all the major UK funding bodies and research charities. These data can be grouped in customised research fields allowing a highly flexible comparative analysis of trends and performance in acquiring research resources, readily mappable to other research data.

As part of a recent data analysis project we carried out for the UK research councils, this database of grants and classifications was used to explore changes in interdisciplinarity over time. This method of analysis was compared to bibliometric measures of interdisciplinarity, and resulting in recommendations to the councils on how to best identify interdisciplinary work.


Investigating the communication of medical research for Nesta

Our Consultancy team has much experience with bibliometrics, but has more recently, working with colleagues at Altmetric, investigated alternative measures of attention to academic papers. Funded by Nesta, the team explored the online mentions of medical papers. By using categorical systems such as Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms) to identify papers on specific diseases, the altmetric data was aligned to aggregate data on charitable research spend, and to explore an hypothesis that this was a proxy for the size of a community interested in research on a specific disease. The working paper on this research is here, and the team produced a Digital Research Report summarising the work and its findings.



Digital Research Reports

The consultancy team produce a series of analytical Digital Research Reports – each one explores an area relevant to research policy and management, from alternative research metrics to the value of structural diversity for research bases.

We sometimes collaborate with external contributors on these reports so get in touch if you’re interested in knowing more.



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