photo of Ismael Rafols

Dr Ismael Rafols

Post:Associate Faculty (SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit)
Personal homepage:Ismael-Rafols

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 678177
International:+44 1273 678177
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I am a science and technology policy analyst at Ingenio (CSIC-UPV, València) and associate faculty at SPRU (Univ. Sussex, Brighton), where I worked from 2004 to 2012. I am part of Ingenio's Evaluation and Medical Innovation groups. My research considers the role of S&T indicators in science policy, addressing some of the challenges posed in The Leiden Manifesto. In particular, I investigate how to make a more plural and inclusive use of S&T indicators for informing evaluation, funding and research strategies. These are my main research topics:

1)   Inclusive metrics: The increasing use of indicators in research management and policy may undermine fields, regions or topics that a poorly covered or described by current research metrics. I study how indicators are biased and the potential effects of biases, for example in issues such as interdisciplinary research, local knowledge and agriculture (rice) or in some countries. I am also working mixed-methods to capture the societal contributions of research, e.g. in translational research.

2)  Research portfolios:There is a growing perception of a misalignment between science ‘supply’ and societal ‘needs’. In order to facilitate deliberation on research prioritization, I am developing methods to interrogate the research landscapes or portfolios for grand challenges such as bird flu or obesity, the knowledge base of funding agencies and organisations such as universities or pharmaceutical firms.

I have also worked on the characterization of nanotechnology, global science mapping and  measures of interdisciplinary research.

My publications are available via green open access, in Google Scholar's profile. Full CV.

I serve as Editorial Advisor in the journals Research EvaluationScientometrics and Journal of Informetrics, and participate in the conference committees of science policy conferences such as Atlanta Science Policy, ENID or Eu-SPRI. I have led projects for the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, ~€0.5M), US National Science Foundation (with A. Porter, ~$800k), and have been awarded the fellowships Marie Curie (EC, IntraEuropean, 2006-08, and Integration, 2013-2017), Ramón y Cajal (Spain, 2012-2017) and Monbukagakusho (Japan, 1995-2001).   

I have conducted consultancies for Technopolis (EC project on Monitoring of Responsible Research and Innovation), the UK’s Royal Commission on Environmental Protection (Nanomaterials governance), SRI (Measuring interdisciplinarity), the OECD Working Party of Nanotechnologies (Mapping the knowledge base) and JETRO (Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, METI; Policies for biotechnology in Europe).

I received an MSc in Science and Technology Policy from SPRU (Sussex), a BSc in Physics from the Univ. Barcelona, a PhD in biophysics from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) and was a postdoc in nanobiotechnology at Cornell University in 2001. In between academic positions, I have worked on international cooperation in Oxfam (1994) and the City Council of Barcelona (2003-04).

1.        Leydesdorff, L. and Rafols, I (Under review) Indicators of interdisciplinarity of journals: Diversity, centrality, and citations. Journal of Informetrics.