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Southern promises: a snapshot of the microbiology research landscape in South America based on bibliometric data

Nai, Corrado

Scientists have a single currency for productivity and impact: published articles. In an effort to map the global research landscape in microbiology, and to obviate the current lack of bibliometric analysis in the field, FEMS—the Federation of European Microbiological Societies—generated a dataset encompassing an exhaustive, worldwide list of microbiology studies for 2013–14, which further includes information as author affiliation, funding agency and number of citations. The manually curated database is useful in assessing the impact and regional productivity of microbiology research at different levels. Here, the data for microbiology research in South America are presented and discussed in detail. Based on the analysis, it emerged that despite great degrees of variation between number of published articles among the countries, a more levelled research productivity was observed when considering further dimensions like population size or number of research institutes. Normalised productivity and impact increase in countries with a ‘central research hub’, i.e. an institute or university producing a substantial portion of the national output (15% or more). From these observations, a possible strategy to increase impact and productivity in (microbiology) research for emerging countries is outlined.
Published in: FEMS microbiology letters, 10.1093/femsle/fnx162, Oxford Univ. Press