Delineation of the Scientific Structure of Doctoral Theses and Research Projects of the Activists of the Science Institution

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Theoretical Studies of Science, Technology and Innovation, National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP), Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Faculty of Educational sciences and psychology, Shahid Chameran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.


Objective: Paying attention to local and regional issues and conducting research in alignment with these challenges is one of the most important principles for progress and development in a country. Therefore, the aim of the current research is to analyze the local and regional issues and challenges in the research outputs and doctoral dissertations of scientific institutions in Iran.
Method: The current research is an applied study with a quantitative-qualitative approach, conducted using scientometric techniques and thematic analysis. The research community includes doctoral theses and research projects from Shiraz, Yazd, and Ilam universities. The data collection method involved sending requests to the respective universities in these three public universities and compiling information related to research projects and doctoral dissertations. Data was gathered by reviewing the doctoral dissertations and research projects of the mentioned universities, and relevant information was organized using Excel and RavaRmatrix software. Descriptive statistics were employed for data analysis. Additionally, UciNet, Pajak, and VOSviewer software were used to create scientific maps.
Results: The number of research projects and doctoral dissertations addressing local and regional issues in the three studied universities is very low. However, based on the challenges mentioned in the documents above, it was found that the universities paid insufficient attention to local and regional issues in their research for various reasons. Undoubtedly, the country’s development relies on solving local and regional challenges.
Conclusions: Emphasizing local and regional issues is a key factor for economic dynamism, maintaining ideals, achieving endogenous development, and contributing to the country’s prosperity. This necessitates proper planning and increased attention in upstream documents.


Al-Youbi, A. O., Zahed, A. H. M., Nahas, M. N. & Hegazy, A. A. (2021). The Roles of Universities in Development. In: The Leading World’s Most Innovative Universities. Springer, Cham.
Baradaran Haghir, M., Noorshahi, N., & Roshan, A. R. (2023). The conceptualization of social responsibility of the university in Iran. Quarterly Journal of Research and Planning in Higher Education, 25(3), 1-26. (In Persian).
Baseri, B. (2023). An Analysis of Inequality in Iran's Provinces (Orientations and Outcomes). Iranian Journal of Economic Research, 28(94), 175-224. doi: 10.22054/ijer.2022.66260.1073 (in Persian).
Benneworth, P., & Nieth, L. (2018). Universities and regional development in peripheral regions. In Universities and regional economic development (pp. 1-12). Routledge. ‏
Benneworth, P., Charles, D., & Madanipour, A. (2010). Building localized interactions between universities and cities through university spatial development. European planning studies, 18 (10), 1611-1629.  
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3(2), 77-101.
CALDERÓN, A. I., GOMES, C. F., & BORGES, R. (2016). Social responsibility of higher education: mapping and thematic tendencies of Brazilian scientific production (1990-2011). Revista Brasileira de Educação, 21, 653-679.
Dolati, A., Siadat, S. A., Aminbeidokhti, A., & Neyestani, M. R. (2021). Social Participation Strategies in Local Communities; Internal and External Stakeholders viewpoints. Community Development (Rural and Urban), 12 (2), 387-413. doi: 10.22059/jrd.2021.313531.668603(in Persian).
El Din, H. K. B. (1997). Education and the future. Cairo, Dar Al-Maaref.
Entezari, Y. (2018). Analyzing the impact of university on regional development in Iran. Quarterly Journal of Research and Planning in Higher Education, 24 (2), 1-25. (In Persian).
Fauzi, M. A., Abdul Wahab, N., Ahmad, M. H., & Abidin, I. (2023). University social responsibility: the present and future trends based on bibliometric analysis. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education.  
HAWERROTH, J.L. (1999). The expansion of higher education in universities in the Santa Catarina foundational system. 1999. 1v. 149p (Doctoral dissertation, Dissertation (Masters in Administration). Federal University of Santa Catarina).
Hernández, R. M., Saavedra-Lopez, M. A., Rojas-Pisfil, M., La Rosa-Feijoó, O. C., & Benavides, A. M. (2024). University Social Responsibility as Part of Sustainable Development in Latin America: A Study of Scientific Production in the Last 20 Years. Acta Innovations, 51, 36-45.
Jafari S. (2019). Components for Globalization of Universities in the Iranian Academic System from the ViewPoints of Experts. Ihej, 11 (2),1-26. (In Persian).
kamali, Y. (2018). Methodology of Thematic Analysis and its Application in Public Policy Studies. Iranian Journal of Public Policy, 4(2), 189-208. doi: 10.22059/ppolicy.2018.67875. (In Persian).
khosravi, B., Eisaaei, H., miry, M., & Tahery, A. (2022). Meta-Synthesis Method for the Model of Evaluating the Effects and Consequences of Macro Policies and Strategies: A Case Study of Academic Communities. Public Administration Perspective, 13(4), 137-160. doi: 10.52547/jpap.2022.226973.118. (In Persian).
Kotozs, B., Lukovics, M., Molnár, G., & Zuti, B. (2015). How to measure the local economic impact of universities? Methodological overview Regional Statistics 5 (2): 3–19.
Mahdi, R. & Shafiei, M. (2018). Role-playing and capacity building of the fourth-Generation universities for local and regional development, Sanat and University magazine, 10(35), 1-22. (In Persian).
Mendes, SAT, de Souza Júnior, AA, de Oliveira Júnior, MC, de Souza, AP, de Moraes Moraes, AF, & da Silva, RO (2024). University social responsibility: a bibliometric study based on theses and dissertations (2017–2022). CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIAL SCIENCES, 17 (2), e5091-e5091.
Rahnavard F. (2022). Mega-Policies of The Development Plan: A Case Study of Iran. JMDP, 35 (3), 3-56.  (In Persian).
Sevinc, H. (2014). The role of universities in local economic development: A case of TRA2 region in Turkey. Research Journal of Business and Management, 1 (4), 448-459.
Shafai Yamchelo, T., Khodiar, A. & Qaramelki, F. (2015). The study of recognizing the current state of university social responsibility based on the Wallais model based on the views of faculty members (Case: University of Tehran). Iran Higher Education, 8(4), 79-102. URL: (In Persian).
Soares Filho, V., & Barden, J. E. (2021). University social responsibility: an analysis of publications from the capes bank of theses and dissertations and the digital library of theses and dissertations (bdtd). Humanities & Innovation, 8 (54), 322-336.
Urrunaga-Pastor, D., Bendezu-Quispe, G., Dávila-Altamirano, D., Asmat, M. N., & Grau-Monge, J. (2023). Bibliometric analysis of scientific production on university social responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean. F1000Research, 12, 1340.
Vallaeys, F. (2014). University social responsibility: a mature and responsible definition. Higher education in the world, 5 (1), 88-96.
Yadollahi Dehcheshmeh, A., Rajaipour, S. & Siadat, A. (2021). An Analysis of the role of Fourth Generation University (social university) in Regional Development, Journal of Community Development, 13(1), 1-35. (In Persian).
Zamandi, A. A., Hassani, M., & Galavandi, H. (2022). The Interpretive-Structural Modeling of University Social Responsibility Component‌s to Promote Social Capital: The Case Study of Shahid Beheshti University. Social Capital Management, 9(4), 461-491. 10.22059/jscm.2022.348384.2341 (In Persian)