The science of science: From the perspective of complex systems
Abstract The science of science (SOS) is a rapidly developing field which aims to understand, quantify and predict scientific research and the resulting outcomes. The problem is essentially related to almost all scientific disciplines and thus has attracted attention of scholars from different backgrounds. Progress on SOS will lead to better solutions for many challenging issues, ranging from the selection of candidate faculty members by a university to the development of research fields to which a country should give priority. While different measurements have been designed to evaluate the scientific impact of scholars, journals and academic institutions, the multiplex structure, dynamics and evolution mechanisms of the whole system have been much less studied until recently. In this article, we review the recent advances in SOS, aiming to cover the topics from empirical study, network analysis, mechanistic models, ranking, prediction, and many important related issues. The results summarized in this review significantly deepen our understanding of the underlying mechanisms and statistical rules governing the science system. Finally, we review the forefront of SOS research and point out the specific difficulties as they arise from different contexts, so as to stimulate further efforts in this emerging interdisciplinary field.