Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Growth in number and impact of publications by Indian scientists

... [J]oint international collaborative papers tend to have a higher-than-average citation impact. India–UK collaborative papers in the physical sciences, for example, are cited four times the world average [...]

That is one of the interesting pieces of information from this SciDev.Net report by Papri Sri Raman and T.V. Padma summarizing the results published in a recent study by Research Councils - UK (RCUK) that analyzed the number and impact of scientific publications from India, and how they compare with those from a few other countries (including China, Brazil, UK and USA).

Here's the list of key findings from the study:

  • India’s share of world papers and the relative number of citations these papers received have both increased in recent years. However, while India is currently ranked seventh in terms of total output of papers within the group of countries selected by Research Councils UK for comparison, it remains tenth in terms of citation impact.

  • India’s output of research papers (and share of the total world output) has increased across all subjects. Citation impact has also increased across most subjects although it often lags behind other countries in the comparator group.

  • While most of India’s research is cited less frequently than word average it continues to improve and collaboration with the UK corresponds with an increase in impact to approximately world standard.

  • In terms of overall collaboration across all subjects, the USA is India’s largest partner by a sizeable margin followed by Germany and the UK. This pattern of collaboration has been consistent in every year between 1999 and 2008.

  • The volume of papers which are cited at least four times the world average in different fields indicates that physical science subjects are particularly strong areas for India-UK collaboration. It is noteworthy that other fields, particularly medical, health and biological sciences, also produce a substantial volume of highly-cited research.

  • A diverse range of UK institutions collaborate with India and the analysis of most frequent collaborators identifies several non-traditionally research intensive universities. The most frequent Indian institutions for collaborating with the UK are mostly research intensive universities and specialist research organizations. The analysis indicates that the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science are particularly active collaborators with the UK.