Thematic Comparison of Research in Civil Engineering at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad and World’s Top Universities

Document Type : Research Article

Authors

1 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

2 Earthquake Research Center, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Development of different scales and methods to evaluate and compare research performance of individuals, institutes and universities has a significant role to enhance scientific policy-making procedures. Unfortunately, thematic evaluation as a tool for qualitative evaluation, has not received much attention for high-level policy-making of science and technology in the world. It seems that monitoring research trends (in specific research centers) and their similarity with those of top research institutes in the world presents a new perspective to research policy-makers and is essentially effective to find strengths and weaknesses of research approaches and future policies. In this research, the articles of the three years (2018-2019-2020) of the top 5 universities (in the 2021 QS ranking) and Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in the field of Civil and Environmental Engineering are extracted from the Scopus database. The priority of research topics is analyzed and compared based on several indicators for five top universities and Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. To validate the thematic-comparison process, researches of London College (as the sixth top research institute in the field of Civil Engineering) are also included. The results show that research topics (and their priorities) of London College, compared to Ferdowsi University, are much closer to those of the top five universities of the world. Also, in order to better evaluate the research compatibility, thematic comparison of Ferdowsi University's researches with those of the top five universities has been examined for different subfields of Civil Engineering separately. The results show that inconsistency in some sub-disciplines is very high, and research policy reconsideration is earnestly recommended.

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