Russia’s Place in International Publication Activity Ranking: Medical Sciences
The HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge presents information about Russia’s place in a ranking of countries by the number of academic publications on medical and health sciences.
According to the Web of Science (WoS), more than half a million academic publications on medical sciences are annually published in the world. The US firmly holds the leading position here: in 2015-2017 scientists from this country accounted for one third (32,7%) of all publications in international peer-reviewed journals. The top ten countries also comprise China (13%), the UK (8,7%), Germany (7%), Japan (5,4%), Canada (5,2%), Italy (5,2%), Australia (4,7%), France (4,4%), and the Netherlands (3,6%).
In 2015–2017 Russian researchers published about 10,7 thousand papers on medicine and health, or approximately 0,7% of the global output, placing the country in the 32nd position in the international ranking. Similar levels of publication activity in the area show Mexico, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand. To compare, Russia is 10th in the natural sciences ranking, and 13th in the social sciences one.
Notably, Russian researchers’ publication activity in medical sciences grew 1,6 times during the past ten years (in 2005–2007 they published 6,5 thousand papers). Still, this growth wasn’t enough for the country to improve, or even retain its position (in 2005–2007 Russia was 26th). The flow of medical publications generated in other countries was even greater.
Figure 1 shows Russia’s position in the ranking for 59 specific medical science areas. The X axis shows the country’s place in terms of WoS-indexed publications in each such domain in 2015–2017, and the Y — the change in its ranking during 10 years (from 2005–2007 to 2015–2017). E.g. the point CH_M (medical chemistry) being positioned at (12, 7) means that in this field Russia is the 12th in terms of the number of relevant papers published during the previous 10 years (7 places up).
Unlike natural and social sciences where Russia is among the leaders in certain areas, the country’s positions in medicine and health are less prominent. Apart from medical chemistry, Russia is among top 20 countries only in two basic research rankings (17th in both cases): physiology, and exploratory and experimental medicine; note that in both these domains its ranking went down, 3 and 8 places respectively. Out of the five medical science areas with the largest number of publications (oncology, neural sciences, pharmacology and pharmaceutics, surgery, and public healthcare, with more than 30 thousand papers published in international peer-reviewed journals annually in each) Russian researchers have the best positions in neural sciences (23rd place).
Russia shows the best progress in medical science areas such as allergology (+16 places in the ranking), pharmacology and pharmaceutics (+11), and clinical psychology (+11). Certain progress was also noted in areas where until recently Russian scientists published relatively few papers, such as social aspects of biomedicine (+17), tropical medicine (+16), food and dietetics (+11), and orthopaedics (+14). On the contrary, in certain health science areas Russia is moving down, first of all due to accelerated growth of the number of foreign publications. These areas include primary medical care (-30), nursing, and infectious diseases (22 places down in both segments). In some cases (e.g. psychiatric research, -25) the decline was due to the fact that Russian journals specialising in relevant areas were no longer indexed by the WoS.
Sources: HSE ISSEK calculations based on InCites data of 01.07.2018 (for Articles, Proceedings Papers, and Reviews published in WoS-indexed journals). Publications were credited to countries indicated as workplace address of at least one of the authors. Growth is marked on the Y axis as the difference between 2015-2017 and 2005–2007 rankings. Results of the project 'Study of Innovation Process Participants’ Activities: Development of Theoretical Framework and Methodological Approaches' implemented in the scope of the HSE Basic Research Programme.
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