An International Comparison of Academic Publication Output and its Influence in Selected Countries

An International Comparison of Academic Publication Output and its Influence in Selected Countries

Thu Jan 25 16:07:00 CET 2018

Think-tank IDEA CERGE-EI introduced new web tool that offers interactive comparison of selected countries’ academic publication output in terms of the quantity of articles and their influence, inferred from the academic influence level of the journals they are published in. output is measured as the number of scientific articles published during 2010–2014 in journals registered by the Web of Science (WoS) database. Country-level publication output is adjusted for the country’s population size (i.e. we report publications per capita). Hence, any differences between the countries’ publication output levels are not the result of the countries' sizes but rather reflect differences in the way those countries finance research, and in how productive those countries’ researchers are: the population-adjusted publication output indicators for each discipline reflect compounded differences in aggregate country level R&D expenditures, in the field structure of funding by country, and in research productivity.

An article is credited to a country if at least one of its authors is affiliated with an institution that has an address in that country. If an article is co-authored, it is credited to all the countries that appear among its authors’ affiliations. We differentiate between 226 academic disciplines, based on the WoS Categories used to classify journals. If a journal belongs to several WoS Categories, the articles published in that journal are also credited to those several WoS Categories.

Publication output by influence is measured as per-capita publication output in journals clustered according to their scientific influence. An article's influence level is inferred from the journal it is published in. Journals are ranked according to the value of their Article Influence Score (AIS) within their particular WoS Category. Where a journal is assigned to multiple WoS Categories, the weighted average percentile rank across those WoS Categories is used instead. In this way, journals are assigned to four groups according to their scientific influence: Top Decile, Top Quartile, Upper Half and Lower Half.

Presentation – By Countries
The plotted dots represent individual WoS Categories. The different colours distinguish broad scientific disciplines. The name of each particular WoS Category appears if you move the cursor to hover above it. You can select to view/hide particular disciplines by clicking on their names in the legend. The chart compares the total publication output per capita in your selected Focus country (on the X-axis) with the same country's publication output per-capita at the influence level you have specified (on the Y-axis). The output on both axes is expressed as a percentage deviation from the corresponding average output across the countries you have selected in Benchmark countries. Therefore, if the publication output in Focus country is the same as the average publication output in Benchmark countries, it will appear as 0%. Zero output (no publications) in Focus country would appear as -100%.

The top-right quadrant shows the WoS Categories in which Focus country performs better than the average in Benchmark countries both in terms of its overall publication output and in terms of its output at the chosen influence level. The bottom-left quadrant shows the WoS Categories in which Focus country performs worse than the average in Benchmark countries for both types of output.

Presentation – By WoS Category
The top-left panel compares the countries’ publication output in the selected WoS Category. Every country's publication output is adjusted (except that of the Czech Republic itself) so that it corresponds to the population size of the Czech Republic (10.3 million).

The different shades of blue on the bars distinguish the levels of influence at which the countries' output is published, inferred from the academic influence of the journals in which the articles were published (see above). The darkest shade of blue indicates publication output in journals in the Top Decile, the blue shading then gets lighter through the 1st Quartile without Top Decile, 2nd and 3rd Quartile and the lightest blue shading indicates publication output in journals in the 4th Quartile based on their Article Influence Score.

The bottom-left panel compares the same as the panel above it, but in terms of proportions. This more effectively highlights a particular country's focus on more or less influential research.

The top-right panel highlights the average annual growth rate in the countries' publication output during 2010–2014, distinguishing output in more and less influential journals (according to the journals’ AIS scores).

The bottom-right panel shows trends in publication output at different influence levels (by journal AIS scores) during 2010–2014.

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Prepared by: Luděk Svoboda, Division of External Relations of CAO
Photo by: Stanislava Kyselová, Division of External Relations of CAO, IDEA CERGE-EI