Unseen science? Representation of BRICs in global science
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A survey of scientific periodical publications (or venues-as distinct from articles) from BRIC country practitioners counted more than 15,000 national publications. Data collected from and about Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC countries) show that 495 venues, or about 3%, are listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded© (SCIE©) in 2010. Contrary to our expectation of under-representation overall and coverage limitation of SCIE, the average percentage of SCIE-listed venues for the BRICs is about the same as that for advanced countries. China has the lowest representation of national venues in SCIE at 2% of all publications; Russia has the highest at about 8%. India has about 6% of venues in SCIE; Brazil has about 4%. In other words, SCIE includes about the same percentage of high quality science from these four countries as for North America and Europe, meaning that these countries are not under-represented in SCIE. Moreover, the number of national venues available as outlets suggests that national scientists in these countries have good access to publications and venues. Some of the BRIC national publications are difficult to “see” at the global level because of language barriers, diverse publication formats, and lack of digitization. Other national differences represent historical traditions surrounding publication.
KeywordsGlobal science BRICs Open access Developing countries National comparisons
Thanks go to Jonathan Adams; Jose Octavio Alonso-Gamboa; Ana Maria Cetto; Ernesto Fernandez-Polcuch; K.C. Garg; Lee Giles; Diana Hicks; Michael Kahn; Melissa Leach; Jacqueline Leta; Loet Leydesdorff; Valentina Markusova; John Mugabe; Anthony Nasir; Ronald Rousseau; Wesley Shrum; Divya Srivastava; Yuan Sun; Pamela C. Sieving; James Testa; Wu Yishan; and Ping Zhou. We are grateful to Lee Giles for suggesting that ‘venues’ is emerging as the term of art in place of ‘journals’ because of the rise of open access and web-based publishing.
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