This is a short correspondence paper that tries to use citation analysis to compare research productivities in the sciences among different countries. It draws data from the Science Citation Index. It finds that over two decades the number of research papers has risen in other countries, but it has decreased in India.
This is a correspondence on "Science in India" which was written by R. P. Gupta in the same issue of Current Science. In responding to Gupta's idea to "use citations per paper in addition to the number of papers published by a country," Arunachalam argues that the citations to all papers from these countries are more important. Compares the rates of total papers, total citations, as well as "citations per paper", trying to showing which index is more meaningful for conveying research significance.
Life sciences research carried out in India, as seen from the journal literature indexed in three years of BIOSIS Biological Abstracts (1992-1994), is quantified and mapped. The Indian institutions active in life sciences research, the journals and sub-fields in which they publish their work, and the impact factors of the journals as seen from Journal Citation Reports 1992 and 1994 are identified. In the three years studied researchers from over 1,400 institutions located in over 450 cities/ towns have authored 20,046 papers in 1,582 journals published from 52 countries. Over 54% of these papers have appeared in 18 Indian journals. While India has contributed papers to al 10 sub-fields, her contribution has exceeded 1,000 papers in three years in only four sub-fields, and 500 papers in seven other sub-fields. Only 49 institutions have published more than 100 papers each. The contribution made by different institutions to 26 sub-fields and to 36 often used journals is highlighted. More than 64% of Indian papers indexed in BIOSIS come from academic institutions. Among scientific agencies, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research have published more than 1,500 papers each. In all Indian researchers have published 188 papers (less than 1.0%) in journals with a 1994 impact factor greater than 4.0. More than 46.3% of Indian papers have appeared in non-5CY journals, and a further 37.5% of papers have been published in journals with impact factors less than 1.0. The analysis reveals the existence of two clusters: a large number of institutions devoted to agriculture and classical biology, publishing mostly in low-impact journals, often in Indian journals, and a smaller group of institutions publishing some papers in new biology and some areas of medicine in quality international journals of medium impact. The larger cluster includes the agricultural universities and many general universities, while the smaller cluster includes the Indian Institute of Science, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Institute of Immunology, and Indian Institute of Chemical Biology. While it would be desirable for Indian researchers to publish bulk of the agricultural research and a substantial part of medical research in Indian journals, they have no such constraint in new biology and can publish their work in high-impact international journals. Yet only a small proportion of Indian papers in biochemistry and molecular biology, general and internal medicine, microbiology, biophysics, immunology, and gastroenterology have appeared in such journals.
In this article, the author argues that the number of scientific research papers published from India is on the decline. The conclusions are drawn upon data on the number of papers indexed in MathSciNet, the web database of the American Mathematical Society, covering mathematics, statistics, operational research and related fields.
CAB Abstracts 1998 had indexed 11,855 publications from India, including 10,412 journal articles, from more than 1280 institutions in 531 locations. These were classified into 21 major research fields and 243 subfields. â Plants of economic importanceâ (FF) is the leading area of research in India, followed by â Animal scienceâ (LL). The three subfields with the largest number of papers are: â Pests, pathogens and biogenic diseases of plantsâ , FF600 (1301 papers), â Plant breeding and geneticsâ , FF020 (1135 papers), and â Plant productionâ , FF100 (786 papers). In contrast, there were only 54 papers in â Biotechnologyâ (WW). Academic institutions accounted for a little over 59% of the papers in 1998, as against 63.4% in the five years 1990â 1994, and scientific agencies of the central government accounted for 22% of the papers. Agricultural universities had published 4039 papers and agricultural colleges 523 papers. Indian researchers had published over 78% of the 10,412 journal articles in 208 Indian journals, 587 papers in 180 UK journals, and 368 papers in 124 US journals. In no other field do Indian researchers publish such a large per cent of papers in Indian journals. Letters journals were used only infrequently: 317 papers in 40 letters journals. More than 8060 papers were published in non-SCI journals, and 1925 papers were published in journals of impact factor less than 1.0. Only 33 papers were published in journals of impact factor higher than 3.0. We have identified institutions publishing large number of papers in different subfields, in different journals, in journals of different impact factors, etc. This macroscopic analysis not only provides an inventory of Indiaâ s publications, but also gives an idea of endogenous research capacity. If appropriately linked with public policy, it can help restructure the nationâ s research priorities.
We have mapped and evaluated diabetes research in India and China, based on papers published during 1990â 1999 and indexed in PubMed, Science Citation Index (SCI) and Biochemistry and Biophysics Citation Index (BBCI) and citations to each one of these papers up to 2000. We have identified institutions carrying out diabetes research, journals used to publish the results, subfields in which the two countries have published often, and the impact of the work as seen from actual citations to the papers. We have also assessed the extent of international collaboration in diabetes research in these two countries, based on papers indexed in SCI and BBCI. There is an enormous mismatch between the disease burden and the share of research performed in both countries. Although together these two countries account for 26% of the prevalence of diabetes, they contribute less than 2% of the worldâ s research. We argue that both India and China need to (i) strengthen their research capabilities in this area, (ii) increase investment in health-care research considerably, (iii) facilitate substantive international collaboration in research, and (iv) support cross-disciplinary research between basic life sciences researchers and medical researchers. As data such as those presented here should form the basis of health policy, India and China should encourage evaluation of research.
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