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SDG Analysis: Bibliometrics of Relevance

The mission of the Aurora-network is to tackle global societal challenges in areas like the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

This project creates a dashboard which demonstrates the Societal Relevance and Societal Impact of Research of Aurora Universities. This dashboard shows the research contributions in these societal challenges, and how policymakers have used the research available to tackle these challenges.

The data dashboard you see above has the status of a proof of principle. Researchers can help improve the classification model behind this dashboard. Please use this survey to identify key publications:

Help mapping Research To The Sustainable Development Goals

The dashboard is interactive, you can click on the SDG Icons, the University names, and the data points in the graphs to change the perspectives or highlight parts of the data.

The bubble diagram above shows what SDG’s the Universities in the Aurora Consortium contribute the most (size of the bubble), have most research articles in the top 10% percentile of most cited Journals (horizontal axis), and have been mentioned the most in policy documents at national governments and non-governmental organisations (vertical axis).


SDG queries are created and reviewed by bibliometricians in the Aurora network. The bibliometric instrument performs per SDG a query on a bibliometric database, in this case, Scopus. The result is a collection of papers per SDG. Additional information is added to these papers, top 10% percentiles as a measure for research excellence (using SciVal), open access status as a measurement for availability of those papers to society (using ImpactStory), and the mentions in references to those papers in public policy documents from (N)GO’s (using Altmetric).

Read more about the concept in the Whitepaper 2017 [1] and the presentation at the Liber congress in 2019 [2], software available on Github [3]

[1] Whitepaper | Maurice Vanderfeesten, & René Otten. (2017, November). Societal Relevant Impact: Potential analysis for Aurora-Network university leaders to strengthen collaboration on societal challenges. Zenodo.

[2] Presentation | Vanderfeesten, Maurice, Otten, René, Both, Joeri, Schmidt, Felix, Spielberg, Eike, Kullman, Lars, & Farar, Jaqui. (2019, June). How does Our Research Influence Policy on Global Societal Changes? A Bibliometric Proof of Concept Targeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Zenodo.

[3] Software |



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