Scientific publications from Spanish universities have increased more than 70%

Scientific publications from Spanish universities has increased more than 70%
This increase in the number of scientific publications has come about despite there being no significant increase in Spain’s university teaching staff

The number of scientific publications carried out by research staff from Spanish universities has increased by more than 70% in the last decade, according to a new report made by IUNE on University R&D&I, an observatory by the 4U partnership.

The new edition of this report analyses the research and innovation activity of the Spanish University System (SUE) by means of a set of indicators with data from 79 Spanish public and private universities from 2007 to 2016. Over this period, the number of scientific publications in the Web of Science (WoS) had risen from 31,690 to 54,764 documents, an increase of 72.8%.

This increase in the number of scientific publications has come about despite there being no significant increase in Spain’s university teaching staff, which has gone from 59,925 in 2007 to 64,296 in 2016.

Scientific publication rankings per geographical areas and subject areas

As per autonomous regions:

  • Catalonia has contributed 25.85% of the total publications of the SUE;
  • Madrid with 19.97%;
  • Andalusia with 15.84%; and
  • Valencia with 12.63%.

Andalusia as a region has shown the largest increase in terms of publications in WoS during the analysed period.

As per subject area:

  • Experimental sciences have published the most in WoS with 37.4%;
  • Medicine and pharmacology is in second with 27.36%; and
  • Architecture, engineering, and computer science with 25.39%.

The subject areas with less publications in the WoS include social sciences and arts and humanities. However, if the data on its development is taken into account, these areas are in fact the ones which have shown the largest increase in terms of publications during the analysed period.

According to uc3m, the international collaboration of Spanish universities has also increased during this decade, going from 37.18% of publications in 2007 to 50.23% in 2016. That is to say, researchers from other countries have participated in half of the scientific publications of Spanish universities. On the other hand, the opposite is true for national collaborations, which have decreased from 28.96% to 22.70% during this period.

Innovation and university competitiveness

With regards to innovative activity, the number of Spanish university system patents granted by the Spanish Office of Patents and Brands (OEPM) has also experienced an increase, going  from 256 in 2007 to 524 in 2016, which shows an increase of 104.69%.

The 10 universities with the highest number of patents represent 57.26% of all university patents.

The analysis of competitiveness shows a reverse trend in national and European competitive projects.

Whilst the former decreased by 12.65% (they’ve gone from 2,300 in 2007 and to 2,009 in 2016), on the contrary the European projects have increased by 53.01%, with 249 projects in 2007 compared to 381 in 2016).

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