Sustainable Development Goals

Many of VU Amsterdam’s strengths are to be found in natural, spatial, social and human-scientific research into sustainable development goals (see also the bibliometric analysis conducted by the VU Library), in addition to a proven track record in interdisciplinary research and training. Social commitment is one of the core values of scientific research at VU Amsterdam. To enhance the visibility of this involvement, the University Library has developed a dashboard prototype for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), within the context of the Aurora network’s Societal Impact and Relevance working group. It is designed to show the extent of research published by the affiliated universities in relation to the UN sustainability goals. In addition, the dashboard provides insight into whether this research is freely accessible (Open Access), and the extent to which the research is utilized by policymakers, for example in reports by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and national governments.

This dashboard is still very much in the developmental phase and in its current form only enables the universities in the Aurora network to see the broad contours of SDG-related research expertise among the affiliated partners. For example, it shows that on average almost 50% of SDG-related research published by the entire Aurora network has appeared in the top 10% most frequently cited journals. It also shows that on average 35% of SDG-related publications are open access, and that 10% of these publications on average are cited in policy documents produced by governments and NGOs. For instance, the climate study by VU Amsterdam most frequently cited in policy documents is Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise.

Experiences with the first version of the dashboard have resulted in points for improvement being mapped out for the underlying data model, and a project is currently underway to boost its performance. For a more detailed account, see the Aurora project website.

Dashboard UBVU