A bibliometric study of research in Catalonia

Online resources of “Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació” provides links to two indicators produced by the “Research Group of Biometrics” and the institution CERCA (http://fundaciorecerca.cat/ca/butlletins.asp?accio=carrega&id_butlleti=79).

One of them “Bibliometric analysis of the publications in the journals Science and Nature Between 1998 and 2012″, authors (R.I. Méndez – Vásquez, E. Suñén – Piyol, L. Rovira, Oct 2nd, 2013) has carried out a study about publications in Nature and Science (according to the web of Science of Thomson Reuters) and arranged all results in an online application, which enables selecting the publications from one journal or both of them, as well as selecting two different periods of time: one comprising 15 years from 1998 to 2012, and the other the most recent 5 years (2008-2012). In order to restrict the analysis to original research papers only articles, reviews and proceeding papers published in this period  have been selected for the study. For every period and subset of data countries of host organizations, production profiles using the JCR categories are available.

The authors have included and highlighted data about Catalonia. This has allowed them to position research in Catalonia in the international rankings, according to six different indicators: number of citable documents, number of citable documents per millions of people and RCA (Relative Citation Average: ratio between the average citations per citable document of the country and the global average citations per citable document of the journal for the same period of time). Additionally, these same indicators were analysed specifically for the different Autonomous Communities of Spain.
So, if you visit the web site:


We can confirm the good situation of Catalonia. Taking into account the indicator number of citable documents per million, Catalonia is in the position 12 versus a total 135, and Spain (including Catalonia) does not appear until position 26. By far our small nation ranks first in the Autonomous Communities of Spain, and although the economic crisis and their subsequent grant reductions, the evolution of the published documents in this country keeps growing.

It is also interesting to see the wide profile of our research (JCR categories) as compared with those of other autonomous regions. This gives us the idea of ​​a plurality of different research centres and scientific areas where our researchers focus their work.




The Autonomous Community of Madrid, where the paper published in these journals have clearly declined in the last two years:



Or the Basque Country and Andalusia where the tendency in number of publications continues to grow.

 The Basque Country:


Andalucia :



Or in Castilla – La Mancha, a community which has undergone a scientific standhill:


Finally, as a curiosity, the authors offer the possibility to check the trend of the publication output of Catalonia, comparing  the evolution of the number of citable documents attributed to two different countries. Here clearly, following the always universal trend of Catalan character, Catalonia leads this indicator.



Elena Escubedo (Universitat de Barcelona)


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