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Regular version of the site

Russia in the World Publication Activity Ranking: Social Sciences

The HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge has carried out an analysis of ranking of countries by publication activity in the social sciences.

According to the Web of Science (WoS), more than 200 thousand articles on social science research are produced each year worldwide. In total, over the past three years (2015-2017), about 700 thousand social science research articles were published. Of these, about 10 thousand publications, or 1.5 percent of the international total, were written with the participation of Russian scientists. Russia is ranked 13th in the world according to publication activity of scientists in the social sciences. In the natural sciences, publications by Russian authors make up 3.7% of the international total, placing the country in 10th position in the ranking.

While China tops the ranking of countries according to publication activity in the natural sciences, the USA has been the undisputed leader in social sciences for many years. Almost 30% of the papers on this subject are published with the participation of American scientists. The UK (11.4%) and China (10.8%) are in second and third place, respectively. The top ten countries in social science publications include Australia (5.8%), Germany (5.4%), Canada (4.9%), Spain (3.5%), the Netherlands (3.3%), Italy (3.1%) and France (2.9%).

Fig. 1 presents Russia’s position in an international ranking in 45 areas of the social sciences. For each field, on the horizontal axis, the country's place in the ranking is fixed by the number of scientific publications for 2015-2017. The vertical axis indicates the change in the ranking over 10 years (from 2005-2007 to 2015-2017). For example, the position SOC (7, -1) corresponds to ‘Sociology’ and shows that, in this area of research, Russia ranks 7th by number of publications and has dropped one position in the ranking over the past 10 years.

Russia is among the top 10 countries in five areas in terms of the total number of publications. In addition to sociology, Russia also occupies noteworthy positions in the fields of Educational Psychology (8th place), Education Research (10th place), Operations Research and Management (10th place) and Urban Studies (10th place). Analysis of Russian publications in these areas shows that high positions are achieved as a result of active participation of scientists in international conferences or by the indexing of domestic journals of the relevant subjects in WoS. In the remaining 40 areas of social research, Russia's position is slightly lower: Russian scientists tend to publish several dozen papers in foreign journals in each of these areas annually.

There has been a significant growth in number of social science research articles: compared to the period 2005-2007, the number of papers published in 2015—2017 was more than five times greater, ensuring Russia's rise in the ranking from 28th to 13th place. None of the other leading countries, including China, were able to improve their performance at such a phenomenal rate.

The most notable rise (by more than 20 positions) is observed in six areas, including Education, Educational Psychology, Urban Studies, Planning and Development and Research on Social Issues. In six other areas, by contrast, there has been a marked decline:  Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Communication, Geography, International Relations, and Political Science.

Sources: HSE ISSEK calculations, according to InCites 01.07.2018 (considered publications of Article type, Proceedings paper, Review in scientific journals indexed in Web of Science. In establishing the ranking, the publication was deemed to belong to a country if it was specified in the address of the place of work of at least one of the authors. The growth is shown on the vertical axis and is calculated as the difference in positions in the rankings for 2015-2017 and 2005-2007); the results of  ‘Study of the activity of innovation process actors: development of the theoretical framework and methodological approaches’ of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

The material was prepared by Ekaterina Dyachenko

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