Middle Eastern and North African Science: A Snapshot

The nations of the Middle East and North Africa have enjoyed a tradition of scholarship and science that extends back many centuries. Indeed, Al Quaraouiyine University, in Fez, Morocco, has operated continuously since the year 859 and is widely acknowledged as the world’s oldest university. During the Middle Ages, libraries in the region preserved the fruits of classical learning.

Today, the area includes numerous institutions that reflect substantial effort to support and energize higher education and world-class research. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, with its $20 billion endowment and active recruitment of leading scientists, and Qatar’s Education City, which now includes branch campuses of Carnegie Mellon, Texas A&M, and other US universities, are just two examples.

For a snapshot of research in 14 selected nations in the region, Clarivate Analytics turned to the Web of Science™ and its coverage of more than 12,000 journals and other scholarly output in the sciences and social sciences. For each nation, analysis centered on substantial pieces of research – reports, proceedings papers, notes, and reviews – published over the last decade.

Once the research output was extracted, the Web of Science “analyze” utility was brought to bear to identify the country’s most prolific institutions, as well as the Web of Science fields in which national research has been most concentrated. The listings also include each country’s most-cited paper.

Although technical fields such as engineering and materials predominate, some countries demonstrate concentration in Web of Science fields that are well outside those areas, including Surgery, General Internal Medicine, Mathematics, and even Sport Sciences.

For large and populous nations such as Turkey and Iran, and their correspondingly substantial output, to smaller countries such as Oman and Kuwait, the listings provide an insight into notably active centers and fields of research.

To access the report, please click here.