A scientometric examination of the water quality research in India

  • P. Nishy
  • Renuka Saroja


Water quality has emerged as a fast-developing research area. Regular assessment of research activity is necessary for the successful R&D promotion. Water quality research work carried out in different countries increased over the years, and the USA ranked first in productivity while India stands in the seventh position in quantity and occupies the ninth position in quality of the research output. India observes a steady growth in the water quality research. Four thousand six hundred sixteen articles from India assessed from the aspect of citations received distributions of source countries, institutes, journals, impact factor, words in the title, author keywords. The qualitative and quantitative analysis identifies the contributions of the major institutions involved in research. Much of the country’s water quality research is carried out by universities, public research institutions and science councils, whereas the contribution from Ministry of water resources not so significant. A considerable portion of Indian research is communicated through foreign journals, and the most active one is Environmental Monitoring and Assessment journal. Twenty-one percent of work is reported in journals published from India and around 7% ages in open access journals. The study highlights that international collaborative research resulted in high-quality papers. The authors meticulously analyse the published research works to gain a deeper understanding of focus areas through word cluster analyses on title words and keywords. When many papers deal with ‘contamination’, ‘assessment’ and ‘treatment’, enough studies done on ‘water quality index’, ‘toxicity’, considerable work is carried out in environmental, agricultural, industrial and health problems related to water quality. This detailed scientometric study from 1,09,766 research works from SCI-E during 1986–2015 plots the trends and identifies research hotspots for the benefit to scientists in the subject area. This study comprehends the magnitude of water quality research also establishes future research directions using various scientometric indicators.


Water quality Water contamination Water pollution India Scientometrics Relative citation impact Relative activity index eXergy 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIR National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and TechnologyThiruvananthapuramIndia

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