Monday, February 22, 2016

Trends in Scientific Output in the South Caucasus: 1996-2012

Increases in the quantity of peer reviewed publications, on the one hand, and citations, on the other hand, are believed to measure scientific progress. In the 1960s, efforts to document, explore and explain trends in scientific progress gave rise to the quantitative study of science and science policy – Scientometrics. The SCImago Journal & Country Rank Portal covers the period from 1996 to 2014 and provides indicators that help us examine the dynamics of scientific output worldwide, including in the countries of the South Caucasus (SC). In this blog post, we present the following indicators: 
  • Number of publications in peer reviewed journals by academics affiliated with the country’s scientific institutions;
  • The ratio of cited peer reviewed publications to uncited ones;
  • International collaboration, measured by the ratio of peer reviewed publications co-authored by individuals from different countries.

The number of peer reviewed publications by authors from all three South Caucasus countries has increased between 1996 and 2012. The chart below shows a notable increase after 2002.

Importantly, the number of both cited and uncited publications has been increasing in each scientific discipline. The ratio of cited to uncited publications, however, has declined slightly, as the chart below shows. 

At the same time, international collaboration, measured as the ratio of SC authors’ peer reviewed publications co-authored with authors from other countries, seems to have increased between 1996 and 2012. As the chart below shows, Azerbaijan falls behind, while international collaboration is slowly but steadily increasing in Armenia and Georgia. 

To sum up, the number of peer reviewed publications is the most rapidly growing indicator, suggesting positive developments in the scientific community of the countries of the South Caucasus. However, it seems that there is still work to do when it comes to the impact of the publications by scholars in the South Caucasus.

To learn more on the subject, take a look at this comparative analysis of the scientific output of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia; this study which examines trends in the development of science in the CIS countries, and this article (in Georgian) focused on Georgian academic institutions. 

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