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VSNU SDG dashboard 2021 published

28 September 2021
The dashboard was created by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in a partnership with the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) in order to demonstrate the societal contribution of Dutch universities with regard to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

In the VSNU SDG dashboard 2021, it is shown how the fourteen Dutch universities actively commit to the SDGs. The VSNU presented the data at the SDG Action Days on September 24 and 25.

The VSNU SDG Dashboard is a tool created by the Research Intelligence team at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and its purpose is to provide insight into the connection between scientific publications and the SDGs. With their research, Dutch universities contribute to all seventeen SDGs. The SDGs are the most important global societal goals to be achieved by 2030. It is important for universities to contribute to societal themes - such as the SDGs - with their scientific research.

Development of a bibliometric tool
In a European project, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, together with 9 other universities within the Aurora Network, has developed a bibliometric method to link scientific publications to the 17 development goals of the United Nations. This has led to a dashboard that establishes the connection between scientific research and the SDGs.

National VSNU SDG dashboard
In 2019, based on the aforementioned methodology, a national SDG dashboard was developed by Team Research Intelligence for VSNU, presenting the Dutch universities. At VSNU's request, the national VSNU SDG dashboard was also developed in 2021, analysing all scientific output in the period 2010-2020 linked to the 17 UN goals.

To identify SDG-related publications, search queries are used, consisting of a bibliometric translation of the UN SDG 'targets and indicators'. These queries identify relevant publications in the Scopus database, after which information is collected for every publication from Scival (indicators for research excellence), Unpaywall (open access data) and Altmetric (policy citations). 

The data was then visualised using Microsoft PowerBI. The search consists of a translation of the 'targets and indicators' as described per SDG by the UN, translated into a bibliometric search. The power of the search queries consists of combinations of keywords with logical operators. The basis of the searches were drawn up by the international bibliometricians within the Aurora network, whereby the searches were peer-reviewed.