The IUNE Observatory was founded and developed by a group of researchers from the A4U universities with the collaboration of the Spanish Ministries of Science and Innovation and Education.

The Observatory’s general coordinator, Elías Sanz-Casado, is a full professor of library science and documentation at UC3M and director of the Research Institute for Higher Education and Science (INAECU).

The IUNE Observatory’s main objectives are:

  • ­To contribute to knowledge and analysis of the Spanish university system’s scientific and technological activity.
  • ­To provide up-to-date and reliable information on various aspects of the research conducted at Spanish universities.
  • ­To develop a suite of variables and R&D and innovation indicators that accurately characterize the research conducted at Spanish public and private universities.
  • ­To enable the development of research profiles for each university.

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The results of this working group are available on the Observatory’s website. Specifically, information is published on the scientific activity carried out at Spanish universities according to 40 indicators measuring various aspects of research:

  • ­Academic staff (public or private university)
  • ­Recognition (national prizes and six-year productivity bonuses awarded)
  • ­Scientific activity (output, productivity, collaboration, impact, visibility)
  • ­Innovation (patents, R&D agreements, services rendered, licences, PCT extensions, spin-offs)
  • ­Competitiveness (Spanish National Plan projects, EU Framework projects)
  • ­Research training capacity (research internship (FPI) scholarships, university internship (FPU) scholarships, Juan de la Cierva contracts, Ramon y Cajal contracts, dissertations defended)

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Some of these indicators are also published relative to the institution’s size (number of academic staff).

In 2016, the Observatory published the first “Informe de la actividad investigadora de la universidad española”, (Report on Research at Spanish Universities), assessing the research conducted at Spanish universities between 2005 and 2014.