The United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) is a joint research and training institute of United Nations University and Maastricht University, based in Maastricht in the southeastern part of the Netherlands.
The institute explores the social, political and economic factors that drive technological innovation, with a particular focus on creation, diffusion and access to knowledge.
Following the integration of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) in December 2010, the institute now covers all aspects of governance in domestic and global organizations, from risk assessment to policy analysis, design and evaluation. In its enlarged form UNU-MERIT functions as a research centre and graduate school for over 80 PhD fellows and 100 Master’s students, and as a 'UN think tank' addressing a broad range of policy questions on science, innovation and governance.
The institute was based in a historic building in the centre of Maastricht near the city's main square, the Vrijthof till August 2015. In September 2015 the institute moved to a new location in Boschstraat in the newly developed Sphinx Quarter.
Wikipedia General Survey
In January 2008, the Wikimedia Foundation announced plans to conduct a general survey of all Wikipedians. They hired the Collaborative Creativity Group of UNU-Merit for the job, which published preliminary results in April 2009. Though initially intended to track reasons for editor decline, an unexpected result of the study was to uncover a significant difference between the number of male editors versus the number of female editors. Though this was first definitely established with the 2011 editor survey, the UNU-Merit survey can be seen as the first signal of Wikipedia's Gendergap.
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