The Relation Between Research Priorities and Societal Demands: The Case of Rice

64 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2018 Last revised: 15 Feb 2019

See all articles by Tommaso Ciarli

Tommaso Ciarli

SPRU, University of Sussex

Ismael Rafols

Ingenio (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València; Leiden University - Centre for Science and Technology Studies; SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex

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Date Written: July 17, 2018

Abstract

To what extent is scienti c research related to societal needs? To answer this crucial question systematically we need to contrast indicators of research priorities with indicators of societal needs. We focus on rice research and technology between 1983 and 2012. We combine quantitative methods that allow investigation of the relation between `revealed' research priorities and `revealed' societal demands, measured respectively by research output (publications) and national accounts of rice use and farmers' and consumers' rice related needs. We employ new bibliometric data, methods and indicators to identify countries' main rice research topics (priorities) from publications. For a panel of countries, we estimate the relation between revealed research priorities and revealed demands. We find that, across countries and time, societal demands explain a country's research trajectory to a limited extent. Some research priorities are nicely aligned to societal demands, confirming that science is partly related to societal needs. However, we find a relevant number of misalignments between the focus of rice research and revealed demands, crucially related to human consumption and nutrition. We discuss some implications for research policy.

Keywords: Research Priority; Agenda Setting; Research Trajectories; Societal Needs; Scientometrics; Rice

Suggested Citation

Ciarli, Tommaso and Rafols, Ismael, The Relation Between Research Priorities and Societal Demands: The Case of Rice (July 17, 2018). SWPS 2018-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3093285 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3093285

Tommaso Ciarli

SPRU, University of Sussex ( email )

Jubilee Building
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton, Sussex BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

Ismael Rafols (Contact Author)

Ingenio (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València ( email )

Camí de Vera s/n, Edif.8E, Univ.Politec.Valencia
València, País Valencià 46022
Spain

Leiden University - Centre for Science and Technology Studies ( email )

Leiden
Netherlands

SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex ( email )

Brighton
United Kingdom

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