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Publication | 27 April 2021

Text mining for horizon scanning

This report presents methodological aspects and the results of a horizon scanning exercise where the text mining capacities of the Joint Research Centre’s "Tool for Innovation Monitoring" were harnessed to analyse bibliometric data in the field of agricultural research and innovation in Africa in the last five years. The exercise included scanning the institutional landscape and partnerships, resuming key thematic areas, and identifying new emerging fields of research, capturing trends, weak signals and the innovation uptake inside particular topics. The relevance of such exercise is first discussed in the context of enhancing research capacities and strengthening weak institutional networks. Then, a funnel approach is proposed and applied to tackle the broad and multifaceted thematic content of agricultural research in Africa; the value added and limitations of the outcome results are addressed. Ultimately, it is recommended to apply a hybrid approach i.e. a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, the latter being based not only on academic records but also enriched with grey literature and real time data media coverage, to implement a horizon scanning exercise.