New data highlights research renaissance across Middle East, North Africa and Turkey with opportunity to expand local collaborative networks
London, U.K., April 8, 2021: Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT), a global leader in providing trusted information and insights to accelerate the pace of innovation, today released a report which explores the seismic shift of the research landscape in 19 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region over recent decades. It presents an international success story, with the region’s global share of research output quadrupling from 2% to 8% over the last 40 years, and papers from 22 million individual researchers identified within the region between 2008 and 2017.
The latest Global Research Report from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)™ uses data from the Web of Science™ to demonstrate how MENAT research is growing in volume and impact, driven by increased participation in international research networks. One example is Egypt which has achieved rising impact at scale, with 60% international collaboration and a Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI) above world average. The report also points to a changing regional balance over time – for example, finding that Iran has surpassed Israel and Turkey to become the largest research producer among MENAT countries, increasing its world share of the Web of Science literature from 0.2% in 2000 to 2.3% in 2019.
To put the region’s research contribution into global context, ISI conducted a special analysis of MENAT research output mapped against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Out of 819 SDG-related topics identified, MENAT countries have authored at least one paper in 253 topics (31%). For most of the MENAT countries, public health and epidemiology is the most frequent topic for publication and accounts for more than one-quarter of their SDG-related papers. However, there are also visible regional sustainability priorities: sustainable economic growth and biogas are hot topics in Turkey while soil erosion is especially strong in Iran.
The increasingly international scope of the MENAT regional research base is seen in its researcher mobility and collaborations. The report analyzes researcher mobility both within the region and globally, finding that there is a significant outward flow of talent, with North America and Europe being the most popular destinations. It draws attention to the opportunity for more local collaboration within the region, where domestic mobility is relatively low and purely domestic papers currently account for about 5% of total output. The findings highlight how collaboration within the region as well as with the rest of the world will enhance the quality of scientific research, accelerate access to new markets and allow the financial costs of research to be shared – more effectively meeting the economic and societal challenges the region faces.
Dr. Martin Szomszor, Director at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate said: “The data indicate that MENAT research shows high levels of global collaboration, resulting in diverse and high-quality output with rising impact. However, regional collaboration remains relatively low and fragmented and our analysis suggests that a collaborative regional network could improve competitiveness between the region and the rest of the world by focusing on shared needs and international priorities.”
Joel Haspel, SVP Strategy, Science at Clarivate said: “At Clarivate we know that the trusted insights and analytics we provide will help to accelerate the pace of innovation, and our Global Research Reports are a key part of that for the international research community. The period of exceptional growth and impact that this report examines is unsurprising given the MENAT region’s history of deep commitment to knowledge and learning. Given these countries’ rich human capacity and available resources, as well as the clear evidence of improvement presented in this report, one may hope to see further advances in science and technology for the region in the future.”
Notes to editors:
This report from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) is titled: “The changing research landscape of the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey”. It follows on from a 2011 analysis of the Middle East published by ISI: “Global Research Report: Middle East – Exploring the Changing Landscape of Arabian, Persian and Turkish Research”. If you would like to receive a copy of the 2011 report, please email ISI@clarivate.com.
The international citation data from the Web of Science used in this report was complemented by regional citation indexes from the Egyptian Knowledge Bank, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and the Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) in Iran.
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Rebecca Krahenbuhl, External Communications Manager, Science