Pakistan has shown the largest percentage increase in research output in 2018.
According to the report of the Institute for Scientific Information, Clarivate Analytics for Nature, emerging economies showed some of the largest increases in research output in 2018. Pakistan and Egypt topped the list in percentage terms, with rises of 21% and 15.9%, respectively.
China’s publications rose by about 15%, and India, Brazil, Mexico and Iran all saw their output grow by more than 8% compared with 2017.
It isn’t clear what has led to the rise for Pakistan and Egypt, but experts think that increases in funding and international collaborations might have boosted the numbers in both the countries.
“One reason could be that both countries started from a low base — near the bottom of the list of top 40 countries in overall numbers of papers,” the article quoted Robert Tijssen, head of science and innovation studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, as saying, a private news channel reported.
The figures have added the input from more local or national scientific journals.
China’s publications rose by about 15%, and India, Brazil, Mexico and Iran all saw their output grow by more than 8% compared with 2017. Globally, research output rose by around 5% in 2018, to an estimated 1,620,731 papers listed in a vast science-citation database Web of Science, the highest ever.
Clarivate owns Web of Science from which the data was drawn. Its analysis for Nature.com focused on 40 countries that have at least 10,000 papers in Web of Science.
China has had two decades of “strong policy-driven growth in science and higher education”. It may soon overtake the US to become the largest producer of publications. The quality of China’s science in terms of citations is also increasing.
“But for this to continue, the country will need to remain open to global influences,” says Caroline Wagner, a science and technology policy analyst at Ohio State University, and a former adviser to the US government. China’s censorship of Internet sources has left scientists complaining of blocked databases and limited Internet searches, she says.