Social sciences are the key ingredients to produce effective UK research and innovation according to a new report by the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS), using data from Dimensions

The report – titled ‘Reimagining the Recipe for Research & Innovation: The Secret Sauce of Social Science’ and co-authored by Digital Science  – has been published to help policymakers, universities and research managers recognize the added value social sciences bring to STEM research areas.

The secret sauce has four active ingredients based on the social sciences – enabling whole-systems thinking, understanding they are critical for good policy development, that they underpin smart and responsible innovation, and that they are essential to international collaboration and tackling shared global challenges.

Essential to the development of the report was the use of Dimensions – the world’s largest collection of linked research data. To more fully understand the scope of collaborative research in the UK, the report’s authors utilized ‘out-of-the-box’ elements of Digital Science’s Dimensions’ database. These included: 

  • Landmark research analysis, focusing on citations of cross-disciplinary research involving social science and STEM
  • Cluster analysis, based on existing published work in relevant areas
  • Research trajectory analysis for STEM, social sciences and cross-disciplinary research from both.

The report highlights the critical role and value that social sciences offer to research and innovation in the UK. For example, Dimensions data shows that social science research makes a significant contribution towards exploring the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), surpassing STEM inputs across several individual SDGs (see chart below).

For more information on how Dimensions can support your research analysis, please get in touch 

Further reading: Digital Science blog, Report: social sciences are ‘secret sauce’ essential for UK innovation

By Simon Linacre, Head of Content, Brand & Press | Digital Science