Tag Archives: China

India ‘limping’ in science publication rates

India has been ‘limping behind’ in science publishing rankings over the past decade, a leading analyst of India’s scientific publication output has cautioned. The warning follows an analysis of the total number of science and social science papers published by countries during the period 1 January 1999–31 October 2008 in journals indexed in Web of Science. The analysis was published by Thomson Reuters earlier this year. India is ranked twelfth in the index. While China — ranked fifth in the index — has jumped from 1.5 per cent of the world share in 1988–1993 to 6.2 per cent between 1999 and 2008, “India has limped” from just 2.5 to 2.6 per cent during the same time frame, observes Subbiah Arunachalam, a scientist with the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation and former editor of one of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s journals. Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan have also recorded a much higher growth rate than India, he notes. “India has a long way to go. Mere ambition to become a knowledge power is not enough,” Arunachalam, who tracks India’s annual scientific publication performance, told SciDev.Net. “When we recruit new faculty we do not give them sufficient funds and other infrastructure such as lab space,” Arunachalam says. “Where will they get bright students unless the schools are strengthened? Processes take time and you cannot compress them into here and now. Long term planning is necessary.” Arunachalam told SciDev.Net he sounded the first warning of India’s stagnation in scientific publications as early as 2002 but it was largely ignored by the country’s science administrators. The country has now started to take remedial measures by announcing new institutes for science education and research, new Indian Institutes of technology, and polytechnic institutes (see Indian plans boost next generation of scientists). But these “will take at least a decade to make a difference”, says Arunachalam. But Padmanabhan Balaram, director of Indian Institute of Science and editor of Current Science — a journal of the Indian Academy of Sciences — cautions in a 25 May editorial against the growing over-emphasis on counting citations and impact factors by the scientific community worldwide. “Even as we [Indian scientists] collectively lament the lack of enthusiasm of young students of science, there is little discussion of how institutions and the researchers within them are perceived from outside. ‘Fun’ may be a word hard to associate with [the] scientific community, obsessed with quantitative performance parameters …”


CHINA-INDIA: Scientists forge closer ties

S. Arunachalam

University World News, 14 September 2008

Indian and Chinese scientists are increasingly working together but it might take a few years before it becomes significant or sets the pace for South-South scientific collaboration. Until 2003, only a small percentage – around three-fourths of one per cent – of Indian papers were written in collaboration with Chinese authors, according to a report of a study published by Chennai-based Subbiah Arunachalam and IIT-Madras’ B Viswanathan.

Published in Current Science, a prominent Indian science publication, the study says that from 2004 onwards there has been a slow but perceptible rise in collaboration.

“International collaboration in scientific research is on the rise… The two great civilisations (of China and India) have learnt from each other for many centuries since the days of the Buddha and have had cultural and trade relations long before the well-documented travels in India by Fahian and Xuanzang,” note the authors.

But the past 50 years have seen the two Asian neighbours go through some border disputes and an uneasy peace. Yet, with doors open for improving ties, bilateral trade between the two countries has spurted in recent years.

In the study, South-South Cooperation: The case of Indo-Chinese collaboration in scientific research, Arunachalam and Viswanathan note that until a little over a decade ago, scientists in India were publishing a larger number of papers than those in China in journals indexed by the global Science Citation Index.

In 1997, China overtook India when Chinese scientists published 17,177 papers in SCI-indexed journals, as against 16,909 papers published by Indian scientists. Since then, China has accelerated the pace of R&D, and in 2007, China accounted for more than 2.76 times the number of papers from India, note the authors.

They found that in eight years from 2000, researchers from India and China have co-authored 1,807 papers. Of these, 1,682 were articles, 45 were reviews, 18 were letters, 36 were meeting abstracts and 26 concerned other issues.

“The number of Indo-Chinese papers has steadily increased over these eight years (from 124 in 2000 to 361 in 2007),” says the study.

Physics was found to be the most prominent area of India-China collaboration. Way behind came medicine. Multidisciplinary physics, physics of particles and fields, astronomy and astrophysics, nuclear physics and applied physics top the list with 468, 189, 181, 83 and 59 papers respectively
In many cases, India and China collaborated with partners from other countries, especially in areas like experimental high physics.

Other prominent nations on the global research scene considered collaboration with China to a much larger extent than with India, said the study. It noted that the ratio of preferring China over India for different countries was 4.2 for Japan, 3.52 for the US, 2.42 for South Korea, 2.30 for Russia and 1.95 for France.


A historiographic analysis of fuel-cell research A historiographic analysis of fuel-cell research in Asia – China racing ahead

S. Arunachalam and B. Viswanathan


Fuelcell research in China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, over the years 1983-2007 is analysed and compared with that in USA for number of papers, document type, journals used and international collaboration. For India and China we have also identified the key researchers and institutions. Using HistCite, the visualization technique developed by Garfield and colleagues, we have constructed the historiographs for India and China based on both local citation scores (LCS) and global citation scores, and identified key papers. We find that the knowledge flow among different Asian countries is rather limited and that China has something to offer to India. The thrust in China is in developing noble metal nanoparticle catalysts supported on carbon nanotubes and the thrust in India is in the area of direct methanol fuel cells. In India, A. K. Shukla is the single most significant contributor to fuel cell research. He is the author of 14 of the 50 nodes in the India LCS historiograph.


China promotes traditional medicine


In an effort to promote traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the global market, the Chinese Government launched a special project on modernization and industrilization of TCM in 1999. Since then the government has invested 550 million yuan (US$ 66 million) on modernization of TCM, says a report in China Daily. Another US$ 1.2 billion, collected from society, has also been used for research in improving the quality of production and modernization of technology. In 2000, the total turnover of the TCM industry in China was $5.86 billion, 24 times that of 1984.


Diabetes research in India and China today: From literature-based mapping to health-care policy

S. Arunachalam and S. Gunasekaran

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 82, NO. 9, 10 MAY 2002

We have mapped and evaluated diabetes research in India and China, based on papers published during 1990–1999 and indexed in PubMed, Science Citation Index (SCI) and Biochemistry and Biophysics Citation Index (BBCI) and citations to each one of these papers up to 2000. We have identified institutions carrying out diabetes research, journals used to publish the results, subfields in which the two countries have published often, and the impact of the work as seen from actual citations to the papers. We have also assessed the extent of international collaboration in diabetes research in these two countries, based on papers indexed in SCI and BBCI. There is an enormous mismatch between the disease burden and the share of research performed in both countries. Although together these two countries account for 26% of the prevalence of diabetes, they contribute less than 2% of the world’s research. We argue that both India and China need to (i) strengthen their research capabilities in this area, (ii) increase investment in health-care research considerably, (iii) facilitate substantive international collaboration in research, and (iv) support cross-disciplinary research between basic life sciences researchers and medical researchers. As data such as those presented here should form the basis of health policy, India and China should evaluation of research.



Tuberculosis Research in India and China: From Bibliometrics to Research Policy

S. Arunachalam and S. Gunasekaran


India and China lead the world in the incidence of tuberculosis (TB), accounting for 23% and 17% respectively, of the global burden of the disease and hold the 15th and the 18th positions in terms of incidence per 100,000 population. But India accounts for only about 5–6% of the world’s research output in this area and China a paltry 1% as seen from papers indexed in three international databases, viz. PubMed, Science Citation Index and Biochemistry and Biophysics Citation Index over the ten-year period 1990–1999. Thus there is a tremendous mismatch between the share of the burden of the disease and share of research efforts. Is such mismatch acceptable? It raises the question ‘should resource-poor countries invest in research or should they depend on research performed elsewhere and invest their meagre resources predominantly in health-care measures?’ We argue that both India and China should invest much more in research than they do. We have also mapped TB research in the two countries and identified institutions and cities active in research, journals used to publish the findings, use of high impact journals, impact of their research as seen from citations received and extent of international collaboration. Although China performs much less research than India and its work is quoted much less often, it seems to have done far better than India in health-care delivery in TB. Perhaps the Chinese are better able to translate know-how into do-how than the Indians.


Mapping international collaboration in science in Asia through coauthorship analysis

S. Arunachalam and M. Jinandra Doss


Using data from SCI 1998, we have analysed international collaboration in science in 11 Asian countries. Papers resulting from collaboration among these countries and with G7, European Union, OECD and selected Latin American and African countries were classified under subject categories to characterize each country’s total and collaborated scientific literature output. Japan (16.4% of internationally collaborated papers), India (17.6%) and Taiwan (16.3%) recorded an internationalization index less than 30 whereas China (28.5%), South Korea (24.6%) and Hong Kong (36.2%) recorded an internationalization index greater than 40. India, China and South Korea have collaborated more in physics, whereas the other eight countries have collaborated more in life sciences. In almost all fields and for virtually all Asian countries, USA is the most preferred collaborating partner. All G7 countries collaborate more with China, which is emerging as a leader in regional collaboration, than with India.