Science in India – A profile based on India’s publications as covered by Science Citation Index 1989-1992

S. Arunachalam, R. Srinivansan and Vidhyalakshmi Raman

Current Science Volume 74, Issue 5, 10 March 1998, Pages 433-441

With a view to mapping scientific research in India, we have analysed papers originating in India and indexed in the CD-ROM version of Science Citation Index (SCI) in the four years 1989-1992 With more than 10,000 papers in each year (more than 42,000 papers in about 2,300 journals indexed in SCI in the four years), India is the twelfth largest publishing nation, down from eighth in 1980. Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and Spain have published more papers than India in journals indexed in SCI in 1992. Chemistry and physics account for the bulk of the papers, followed by engineering and clinical medicine. India’s contribution to areas such as classical biology and agriculture is not properly reflected in SCI, as many journals in which Indian scientists publish are not covered by SCI. Although most Indian papers appear in low impact journals, the number of papers appearing in leading journals of the world especially in the areas of physics, chemistry and materials science is increasing, even if only marginally. Also, the number of papers appearing in foreign journals as a whole as well as the average impact factor of journals in which Indian scientists have published their work, is increasing, reflecting the increasing awareness among Indian scientists for the need to publish in high-impact journals. While the slide from the eighth to the twelfth position – from 2.8% of the world literature to about 2.0% – should be of concern, the increasing use of high impact journals is a welcome trend. In this macrolevel analysis we have looked at India as a whole and have not attempted to analyse the data at lesser levels of aggregation.


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