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Clarivate Analytics Announces 2018 Winner of Prestigious Eugene Garfield Award

Dr Orion Penner wins $25,000 USD, for his innovative proposal for of an indicator of the extent to which a research publication represents a pivot between old and new ideas 

Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to enable researchers to accelerate discovery, today announced the recipient of the 2018 Eugene Garfield Award for Innovation in Citation Analysis at the 23rd Science and Technology Indicators Conference in Leiden, Netherlands. Launched in 2017, this award recognizes scientists working on innovative approaches in citation analysis that improve how we measure the impact of scientific research—also known as scientometrics—a field in which Garfield was a pioneer.

This year’s recipient is Dr. Orion Penner, researcher and Ambizione Fellow in the Chair of Innovation and IP Policy within the College of Management of Technology at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. Originally trained in physics and complexity science, Penner applies tools from data science, economics and other social sciences to publication and patent databases to ask interesting questions about research and innovation as a system and how research careers evolve. Last year he was selected by the Swiss National Science Foundation for the prestigious Ambizione program, one of the most competitive funding schemes in Switzerland.

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Dr. Penner’s current research program focuses on researcher careers, in particular how success is influenced by the decisions individual researchers make in allocating research effort across multiple topics, or in selecting a new job or mentor. His findings speak directly to the present discussion surrounding the sustainability of the current academic career system.

In studying researcher careers Dr. Penner has pioneered the rigorous application of various natural language processing techniques, including topic models, to a variety of textual data arising from researcher careers. Through this award Penner will extend those techniques to the problem of identifying individual publications that have played an unusually pivotal role in scientific discourse.

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Penner will receive $25,000 of prize money and access to Web of Science data, the world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index. Penner will also have the opportunity to collaborate with the prestigious Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), which was originally established in 1960 by Dr Eugene Garfield. The ISI focuses on the development of existing and new scientometric approaches.

Scientometric data do not only provide researchers with insights about the impact of their work but they also help funding bodies and universities assess the impact of their research investments.

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Upon receiving word that he was selected this year, Dr. Penner said, “This award affords me the opportunity to shift my research in a new direction that previously I felt was too risky. I see this as an excellent opportunity to step up efforts aimed at evaluating the current generation of machine learning and natural language processing algorithms as they may be applied to the citation and publication data in the Web of Science. The output will be of significant value to my ongoing research on academic careers, as well as in establishing my independent research program.”

Professor Jonathan Adams, Director of ISI said, “Clarivate Analytics is delighted to select Dr. Orion Penner for the 2018 Eugene Garfield Award for Innovation in Citation Analysis for his innovative proposal points us towards an innovative idea about how we might to generate an indicator of the extent to which that paper could represents a pivot between old and new ideas. It does this  by using the paper’s forward and backward citation networks. This creative application of citation data from Web of Science is a perfect example of the type of inventive and inspiring research that Dr. Garfield supported throughout his long and distinguished career. It is equally an innovative path for Dr Penner, drawing on his experience but setting himself new objectives.”

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