EFI-Studies on the German innovation system

Results from public and private research

Start of the project: 01-Apr-2018 - End of the project: 31-Mar-2019

As part of the Studies on the German innovation system, annual reports are compiled on Germany's performance in various topics of research, innovation and technology, which provide the crucial empirical data to serve as the basis for recommendations from the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI).

The focus of one of these studies is the analysis and description of private and public research and innovation in international benchmarking using bibliometric indicators. The report will provide information on Germany's research performance through comparisons internally and with selected countries. In particular, publication performance and its impact, as well as the extent, focus and impact of international collaborations, will be presented over time using robust and well-founded methods of bibliometrics. Part of this study also entails identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the German research and innovation system, again in the context of international comparison.

In addition, the current 2019 study aims to compare the Web of Science and Scopus databases commonly used for bibliometric analysis, given that bibliometric indicators are dependent on the underlying database. By definition, the coverage of a database defines which publications are included in the analyses and thus the evaluation. However, since the scope of the two databases is known to differ, this study uses a qualitative assessment and a quantitative comparison to examine the extent to which the bibliometric characterisation of a subject is influenced by the properties of the respective databases. The study compares the databases to determine whether the databases vary slightly in the sense of a random sample but are homogeneous in their basic characteristics and therefore represent (almost) perfect substitutes, or if the databases show structurally different perspectives. As such, the study does not aim to describe the databases' varying coverage, as has been done several times, but describes the resulting consequences for a bibliometric evaluation.

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Lead Researcher

Stephan Stahlschmidt
Dr. Stephan Stahlschmidt Lead Researcher +49 30 2064177-18


Dr. Dimity Stephen

Press contact

Daniel Matthes
Daniel Matthes +49 511 450670-532
To press section


Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation