SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

photo of Ismael Rafols

Dr Ismael Rafols

Post:Associate Faculty (SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit)

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) since 2012, a visiting fellow at SPRU (Univ. Sussex) (where I worked for 8 years), and a research associate at the OST (HCERES, Paris). I work on the assessment of science and technology, studying both how research is evaluated and how evaluations may influence science and technology.

I am interested in opening up new perspectives for visualising diverse scientific contributions, in particular those which tend to be neglected by conventional quantitative assessment. For this purpose, I develop methods to map and measure interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and societal contributions of science (the so-called "impact" agenda). In particular, I am working on science visualisations that help interrogate the research landscapes or portfolios of grand challenges such as bird flu or obesity, or the knowledge base of funding agencies and organisations such as universities or pharmaceutical firms.

All my publications are available via green open access as shown in Google Scholar's profile. Full CV.

I serve as Editorial Advisor in the journals Scientometrics, Journal of Informetrics, PeerJ Computer Science, and Journal of Policy and Complex Systems, 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 am part of  Ingenio's Evaluation and Medical Innovation groups.

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, 2006), a BSc in Physics from the Univ. Barcelona (1993), a PhD in biophysics from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan, 2001) and a postdoctoral in nanobiotechnology at Cornell University. 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.