India’s rank and global share in scientific research: how publication counting method and subject selection can vary the outcomes?

Singh, Vivek Kumar; Arora, Parveen ; Uddin, Ashraf ; Bhattacharya, Sujit


During the last two decades, India has emerged as a major knowledge producer in the world, however different reports put it at different ranks, varying from 3rd to 9th places. The recent commissioned study reports of Department of Science and Technology (DST) done by Elsevier and Clarivate Analytics, rank India at 5thand 9th places, respectively. On the other hand, an independent report by National Science Foundation (NSF) of United States (US), ranks India at 3rd place on research output in Science and Engineering area. Interestingly, both, the Elsevier and the NSF reports use Scopus data, and yet surprisingly their outcomes are different. This article, therefore, attempts to investigate as to how the use of same database can still produce different outcomes, due to differences in methodological approaches. The publication counting method used and the subject selection approach are the two main exogenous factors identified to cause these variations. The implications of the analytical outcomes are discussed with special focus on policy perspectives.


Indian Research; Publication Counting; Research Performance; Research Output Ranking; Scholarly Databases

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