The International impact of Greek scientific publications is rising steadily

The National Documentation Centre just published a report on the indicators of the Greek scientific publications in international journals during 2002-2016.

The quality and originality of Greek scientific publications, as measured by the number of citations, continue to increase, improving the country’s position within the EU, the OECD and internationally. This is the main finding of the new report from the National Documentation Centre (EKT), ‘Greek Scientific Publications 2002-2016: Bibliometric analysis of Greek publications in international scientific journals – Web of Science’ (Greek only). The report presents details about the scientific publications of scientists in Greek public and private institutions over the fifteen-year period 2002-2016.

The impact indicator shows that Greek publications (average citation per publication), during the five-year period 2012-2016, continue to increase their lead compared to the EU and OECD averages. The same increase is observed in relation to the share of Greek publications receiving citations above EU and OECD averages.

During the 2012-2016 period, the number of scientific areas of excellence where Greek publications surpass the world impact average have been increasing especially in the fields of Natural Science, Engineering & Technology and Medical & Health Sciences. At the same time, the networking and collaboration of Greek scientists, measured in the number of publications with foreign co-authors continue to rise, indicating an increased outward view.

According to the director of EKT, Dr Evi Sachini, ‘Greek scientists enjoy a growing recognition of the quality and originality of their scientific work. For our part, as a body and National Authority of the Hellenic Statistical System, we aim to bring forth to the wider public the relevant indicators and highlight the growing significance of these publications in moving towards a development model based on knowledge. For that reason, in co-operation with the Hellenic Statistical Authority, we have included bibliometric indicators in national statistics’.

High impact of Greek publications

According to the findings of the study, in 2016 the number of 10,989 Greek scientific publications is recorded. This stands as a slight increase in relation to the number of publications recorded for the previous two years.

Concerning the impact, originality, quality and recognition, Greek publications are dynamically positioned in the international environment. The number of citations to Greek publications continue to maintain the upward trend of previous years, and during the latest five-year period, 2012-2016, 392,230 citations are reached. This represents a new record high.

From 2012 to 2016, Greek publications received an average of 7.13 citations per publication, surpassing the EU and OECD averages (6.36 and 6.24, respectively). The lead over the EU and OECD average was first noted in the 2010-2014 five-year period and still continues to increase. Similarly, the relative impact indicator stands at 1.12 in relation to the EU (average: 1.00) and 1.14 compared to the OECD (average: 1.00). A further lead in relation to EU and OECD average (71.6% and 71.1%, respectively) is the percentage of Greek publications receiving citations where the country receives 72.9%.

For the 2012-2016 period, both the number and the distribution of high impact Greek publications show significant improvement. Specifically, 1,047 Greek publications ranked at the top 1% of high impact publications worldwide, 3,862 publications at the top 5%, 6,955 at the top 10%, 15,249 publications at the top 25% and 7,718 publications at the top 50%.The distribution of Greek publications based on high impact is 1.9%, 7.0%, 12.6%, 27.6%, and 50.2% respectively. It is for the first time that Greece surpasses the world average in all the above categories. Similarly, Greek scientists continue to lead in authoring high impact publications. Of 24.5% of publications with Greek participation in the top 1%, the first author comes from a Greek institution. In the top 5%, the figure is 36.8%, and in the top 10%, it is 42.9%.

Producers of the most scientific publications

The leaders in terms of number of publications are (in descending order) Universities, Research Centres overseen by the General Secretariat for Research & Technology (GSRT), Public Hospitals and Technical Educational Institutes (TEI).

For the latest five-year period, 2012-2016, Universities participated in 83.7% (absolute number: 48,342 publications) of total Greek publications, followed by GSRT Research Centres 14.4% (8,302 publications), Public Hospitals 10.1% (5,814 publications) and TEIs 5.7% (3,288), while other categories represent less than 5%.

In relation to cited publications, GSRT Research Centres rank first. These are followed by Private Health Bodies, Other Public Research Bodies and Public Hospitals.

Impacts higher than the global average (1.0), were achieved by publications from GSRT Research Centres (1.37), Private Health Bodies (1.26), Private Non-Profit Institutions (1.24), Other Public Research Bodies (1.21), Universities (1.20) and Public Hospitals (1.13).

Which scientific fields dominate?

In 2016 and for the six fields of science, most Greek publications belong in Natural Sciences (48.7%). These were followed by Medical & Health Sciences (36.6%), Engineering & Technology (24.1%), Social Sciences (7.6%), Agricultural Sciences (3.1%) and Humanities (1.8%).

For the five-year period 2012-2016, the relevant impact indicators for Greek publications in most fields of science have improved and approached or exceeded the world average 1. The highest impact (relative impact indicator: 1.24) was recorded for Natural Sciences, and was followed by Medical & Health Sciences (1.23), Engineering & Technology (1.13), Agricultural Sciences (1.01), Social Sciences (0.94), and Humanities (0.86).

Who do Greek researchers collaborate with?

During the latest five year period, 2012-2016, a noticeable increase in the number of co-authored publications is recorded. In 2016, 77.4% of Greek publications were the product of collaboration. Specifically, 58.7% of Greek publications were produced collaboratively with foreign bodies and 37.2% with other Greek bodies. International co-operation has been increasing since 2008, while countries with the biggest number of collaborations were the USA, the UK, Germany, France and Italy.

The typology of collaborations is positively correlated with the publications’ impact indicators. The highest impact indicator values refer to publications achieved through international collaboration, followed by collaboration between Greek bodies and publications without any collaboration coming last. This is the case for all six fields of science., with information from National Documentation Center