Build It and They Will Come: The Convening Power of he SOLEIL Synchrotron Facility

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Abstract

This case study takes a novel perspective on research evaluation by focusing on the role of a large research infrastructure, here the SOLEIL Synchrotron in the advancement of science. An approach is established for identifying relevant publications which are then analysed and visualised using sophisticated but accessible software tools to generate insights. The SOLEIL Synchrotron is fulfilling its mission to enable research across a broad range of topics (and with a growing focus on graphene research) and to act as a convening point for researchers collaborating in teams which are often co-ordinated around the facility’s beamlines. The SOLEIL Synchrotron is also part of a multinational network of collaborating research institutes and other synchrotron facilities, and patent citation analysis demonstrates that research at the SOLEIL Synchrotron contributes to innovation and economic outcomes.

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