Latin American and Caribbean Countries in the Global Quest for World Class Academic Recognition: An Analysis of Publications in Scopus and the Science Citation Index between 1990 and 2010

Jorge Enrique Delgado, John C. Weidman


The article investigates global participation in academic research productivity through the growth of publications from Latin America and the Caribbean (LA&C) in two of the most prestigious bibliographic indexes, Scopus and the Science Citation Index (SCI). Data were obtained from the SCImago Journal and Country Rank and the Iberian-American and Inter-American Network of Science and Technology Indicators databases. Tables were created for the number of citable documents in Scopus, the publications in SCI, and the comparative indicators of the number of publications in SCI from LA&C countries adjusted for number of researchers, full-time researchers, inhabitants, and national research and development (R&D) expenditure. The countries with the highest number of publications since 1990 SCI and 1996 Scopus were Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. Colombia shows the largest growth in research productivity over the periods studied and became in 2010 the country with the fifth highest number of publications in both indexes. Comparative indicators adjusted for numbers of researchers, population and national R&D expenditures do not show clear differences in performance across countries. The article concludes with suggestions for the need to provide greater contextual analysis and including other bibliographic indexes and databases in order to have a fuller understanding of the reasons for particular levels of research productivity across LA&C countries.

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Copyright (c) 2012 Jorge Enrique Delgado, John C. Weidman

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