Representing and Mapping Research Competencies within a Scientific Community

By Antonio Palmiro Volpentesta and Alberto Michele Felicetti.

Published by The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Change Management: Annual Review

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Competence is a concept widely recognized as a strategic asset for each organization, especially in areas characterized by intensive use of knowledge, such as scientific communities. Each scientific community aims to produce new knowledge in a particular domain, facilitating knowledge sharing between organizational members with recognized expertises. However, in such a context, scholars are often not aware of other researchers who are working on similar projects, and thus collaboration frequently occurs among a small number of people working in the same group. This work aims to overcome these limitations, proposing an approach oriented to the construction of a scientific community’s competence map that can be used as a mean of highlighting capabilities within the community and suggesting new collaborations between researchers. Traditional approaches in building competence maps are based on tools such as questionnaires or assessment sessions. In recent years, novel approaches based on document content analysis are taking place. However, they do not face up to the problem of defining research competences within a scientific community and surveying them by analysing the scientific production of community members. In this paper we propose an original approach aimed to map scientific competencies, related to
research approaches, scientific method phases and field of inquiring, onto scientific community members, by using a weighted multi-hypergraph model. Moreover, by assuming that competences of a researcher can be detected through an analysis of his scientific research papers, we propose a methodological framework to build the map of a many-to-many relationship between researchers and research competencies by means of a collaborative semi-manual mapping process.

Keywords: Competence Mapping, Scientific Community, Research Knowledge, Research Paper Analysis

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management: Annual Review, Volume 12, 2012, pp.85-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1017.720KB).

Antonio Palmiro Volpentesta

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy

Antonio P. Volpentesta is an associate professor of economics and management engineering at the University of Calabria in Italy. He has been carrying out research and studies for 35 years in the areas of operation research, information systems, economics and management engineering. He has published some books and over 100 papers in these areas, many of them in international referred journals. He is currently the Director of GiudaLab, an information management engineering laboratory and the Vice-Director of the Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering at University of Calabria. He acts as referee for many scientific journals, is a member of many conference program committees and academic boards in the University of Calabria. His current research interests include collaborative networks, knowledge management, learning systems, e-business and social networks.

Alberto Michele Felicetti

Research Fellow, Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering (DIMEG), University of Calabria, Rende, Italy

Alberto M. Felicetti, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow at the Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering (DIMEG), at the University of Calabria (Italy), Italy. He is member of Giudalab-DIMEG Research Group, where a group of about a dozen of researchers has been working on regional, national and European projects. His main research interests are competence management, collaborative networks and social networks.