Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2018, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (1): 1-18.doi: 10.2478/jdis-2018-0001

• Research Paper •     Next Articles

The F-measure for Research Priority

Ronald Rousseau()   

  1. University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium & KU Leuven, Facultair Onderzoekscentrum ECOOM, Naamsestraat 61, Leuven B-3000, Belgium
  • Online:2018-03-15 Published:2010-03-03
  • Contact: Rousseau Ronald;


Purpose: In this contribution we continue our investigations related to the activity index (AI) and its formal analogs. We try to replace the AI by an indicator which is better suited for policy applications.

Design/methodology/approach: We point out that fluctuations in the value of the AI for a given country and domain are never the result of that country’s policy with respect to that domain alone because there are exogenous factors at play. For this reason we introduce the F-measure. This F-measure is nothing but the harmonic mean of the country’s share in the world’s publication output in the given domain and the given domain’s share in the country’s publication output.

Findings: The F-measure does not suffer from the problems the AI does.

Research limitations: The indicator is not yet fully tested in real cases.

R&D policy management: In policy considerations, the AI should better be replaced by the F-measure as this measure can better show the results of science policy measures (which the AI cannot as it depends on exogenous factors).

Originality/value: We provide an original solution for a problem that is not fully realized by policy makers.

Key words: Activity index, Harmonic mean, F-measure, Research policy, Endogenous and exogenous factors