India among top 13 countries in scientific papers


New Delhi : India is among the top 13 countries in terms of published scientific research papers, according to a recent study by the Science Watch team of Thomson ISI.

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"India published 211,063 papers as against 422,993 by China (more than twice the number of papers as India's). India had 694 papers in the most cited 1 percent of papers whereas China had 2,189 papers in this category (more than three times the number of such papers from India)," said Subbiah Arunachalam, a long-term campaigner for enhancing the impact of Indian research.

Only 0.33 percent of Indian papers could get into the one percent of most cited papers, whereas for China and South Korea the figure was 0.52 percent, noted Arunachalam.

"Apart from encouraging our scientists to do better quality work and providing them better facilities and a conducive environment, it is necessary to increase the visibility of Indian research publications, for example through placing our papers in institutional repositories or publishing them in open access journals," he argued.

In terms of total papers in all fields from 1996 to 2006, India ranked 11th, ahead of South Korea and Taiwan. Its share was under one-tenth of the US, the leader which had almost three million papers published in this period.

KnowledgeLink Newsletter of June 2007 noted that the May/June issue of Science Watch ranks 13 countries based on published scientific papers that reach the top one percent of most cited papers worldwide from 1996 to 2006.

The US has produced more than 2.9 million scientific papers over this period, and took the lead in both the total papers among the top one percent and the percentage of total papers among the top one percent.

Science Watch, a subscription newsletter, uses citation data from Thomson Scientific to provide rankings, interviews and reports on what it calls "today's most significant science".

In its study, 13 countries are ranked based on both the volume and percentage of published scientific papers – in journals listed in Thomson Scientific's Web of Science – that reached the top one percent of most-cited papers worldwide.

"This survey takes a different approach when ranking elite papers both overall and in specialty fields," Chris King, editor of Science Watch, was quoted as saying.

"We examined these papers on a global scale and identified which nations are leading scientific thought across all concentrations. Considering the sheer volume of papers published by the US, it is no surprise to see it top the rankings of total number of papers among the top one percent," said King.

He also suggested that the US leading the rankings in percentage of papers among the top one percent "demonstrates its tremendous influence on modern scientific thought".

Japan ranked second with 790,510 published papers, or roughly a third of the US output.

Britain also had a profound influence by placing second highest in both total number of papers, and percentage of papers among the top one percent by having published 660,808 papers.

Thomson Scientific says: "Our goal is to increase the impact of research by empowering researchers with the information they need to accelerate discovery."