Challenges in the study of Cuban scientific output

Abstract

Cuban scientific output at macro level has not been frequently studied in the literature on scientometrics. The current paper explores the different metric approaches to the Cuban scientific activity carried out by national and international authors. Also, the article develops a scientometric study of the Cuban scientific production as included in Scopus during the period 1996–2007, using socio-economic indicators combined with bibliometric indicators supported by the SCImago Journal & Country Rank. Web of Science and Scopus are compared as information sources. Results confirm the possibility to use Scopus to obtain an objective picture of the Cuban science behaviour during the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the XXI century. The SCImago Journal & Country Rank, in this case, offers an important set of indicators. The combination of these indicators with those related to socio-economic aspects of activities in Science and Technology, allow the authors to show a perspective of the Cuban science system evolution during the period analyzed. The inclusion in Scopus of less-cited journals published in Spanish language and its impact on productivity and citation-based indicators is also discussed. Our investigation found an increasing growth of the Cuban scientific production during the whole period, which is in correspondence to the country efforts and expenditures in Research and Development activities.

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Acknowledgments

To Zaida Chinchilla Rodríguez, Elena Corera Alvarez, Víctor Herrero Solana, Rosa Lidia Vega Almeida, María del Carmen Osuna López, María Benavent Pérez, Yaniris Rodríguez Sánchez and Ronald Rousseau, for their support and advices. This research was possible thanks to a research grant in the Institute of Goods and Public Policies of CSIC, and it is a result of the Doctoral Program on Documentation and Scientific Information developed by the University of Granada, Spain, and the University of Havana, Cuba. Access to Elsevier and Thomson Reuters databases was possible thanks to the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Spanish government.

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Correspondence to Ricardo Arencibia-Jorge.

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Arencibia-Jorge, R., de Moya-Anegón, F. Challenges in the study of Cuban scientific output. Scientometrics 83, 723–737 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-009-0150-7

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Keywords

  • Scientific output
  • Bibliometric indicators
  • Socio-economic indicators
  • Databases
  • GDP
  • Cuba