Article by HSE ISSEK Researchers Appears in Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology

ISSEK staff members Gulnara AbdrakhmanovaLeonid Gokhberg, and Alexander Sokolov have written a chapter – ‘Indicators of Information and Communication Technology’ – for a 10-volume set of the Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, edited by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Information Resources Management Association, USA). This publication came out in July 2017.

The Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology (Fourth Edition) is a 10-volume set, which includes 705 original and previously unpublished articles covering a full range of topics, applications, and techniques. Thousands of experts and researchers from around the world have contributed to this all-encompassing, well-established reference source, which is ideal for disseminating the most forward-thinking and diverse research findings. 

The authors of the chapter ‘Indicators of Information and Communication Technology’ examined the various approaches to measuring information and communication technologies (ICT), which have become majors drivers of changes in economic, social, public and private life, thereby leading to the emergence of the Information Society and Digital Economy. They argue that identifying key trends and analyzing transformation processes can only be done on the basis of reliable statistical data. The development of usable international statistics is key in this respect and, therefore, through establishing and updating key standards, we can measure the development of the Information Society on a global scale, while also benchmarking the positions of individual countries within the worldwide economic environment. ICT indicators are based on general (e.g., definitions and classifications, similar data collection methodologies) and specialized statistical standards, whereas a harmonized methodology provides highly compatible indicators for different countries. The chapter’s objective is to present a systemic overview of internationally accepted definitions of key ICT indicators based on accumulated methodological standards and practical experience.

Alexander Sokolov, Deputy Director of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge spoke about the article and the researchers’ future plans with the HSE News Service.

‘I learned about the upcoming edition of the Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology from IGI Global’s newsletter. Since we’ve been engaged in measuring information and communication technologies for a long time now, we therefore decided to publish an article on the indicators for this area of research. The encyclopedia largely features articles covering the technological or market specifics of IT, while a very important issue — the problem of measuring development processes in this area – still remained unexamined.

My colleagues and I reviewed previous editions of the encyclopedia, and realized that there were no articles on the development of indicators for information and communication technologies. Therefore, together with Leonid Gokhberg and Gulnara Abdrakhmanova, leading Russian experts in information society statistics, we decided to prepare an article.

There were many articles submitted for this encyclopedia, as it is an extensive project comprised of 10 volumes. We suggested to the editors that we prepare an article on this topic and our initiative was approved. The encyclopedia’s articles are subject to strict standards with respect to both content and design. Our text underwent a double-blind peer review and several comments were made. Upon finalization, the article was approved. Articles must meet several requirements. We did not conduct any special research on this topic. Rather, this was an attempt to generalize the experience accumulated by us and other leading international organizations (e.g., the OECD, Eurostat, ITU, etc.) that may interest the readers. The field of information and communication technologies is changing rapidly. Statistics is also changing, as it is used to reflect key trends. For the next edition, I think that we will be able to substantially revise the article and re-submit it.

HSE ISSEK has a great database of various publications. Nonetheless, publishing through this kind of encyclopedia is a very new and inspiring experience. For instance, we now better understand the specifics of material preparation and the process of information submission for such publications.

We were able to identify and establish all international statistical standards for measuring information and communication technologies, including relevant areas of research, classification, sets of indicators, and definitions and data sources for calculations proposed by the OECD, ITU, the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, and Eurostat. The statistical approaches and indicators described in the article are suitable for application in practically all countries. Moreover, the information presented in the article helps us better understand the nature of global rankings and other comparative assessments carried out by international organizations and other analytical centres.

We are in constant contact with the publisher. First of all, they are interested in promoting the encyclopedia, and we actively sharing it with our colleagues. Secondly, IGI publishes dozens of journals, mainly about IT, and after the encyclopedia’s publication, they have regularly gotten in contact with us with offers to publish articles in various journals.’