Measuring tech emergence: A contest

Highlights

  • Thirteen teams strive to distinguish emerging research topics in synthetic biology.
  • Analyses of ten years of article abstracts predict topics in the next two years.
  • Augmenting, consolidating, embedding, and clustering text help detect emergence.
  • Analyses of citation patterns and research networking also help discern emergence.

We conducted a contest to predict highly active research topics. Participants analyzed ten years of Web of Science abstract records in a target technological domain (synthetic biology) so as to indicate cutting edge sub-topics likely to be actively pursued in the following two years. We describe contest procedures and results provided by thirteen participating teams.

Contestants used various topical and other fields in the abstract records; some augmented with external data. They applied at least 19 diverse methods in deriving emerging topics predicted to be actively researched in the coming two years. Besides topical text analyses, contestants variously brought to bear both backward and forward citation analyses, and network analyses, to help identify topics apt to be highly researched in the near future. This communal exercise on forecasting near-future research activity using a wide array of text analytic and other bibliometric tools provides a stimulating resource.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120176

Author(s): Alan L. Porter, Denise Chiavetta, Nils C. Newman
Organization(s): Search Technology, Inc.
Source: Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Year: 2020

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