Greece in an international context

Until 2010, the number of Greek publications is continuously growing. In 2010, a small decline was observed. However, the number of citations that Greek publications received –the basis of bibliometric analyses- continued to increase and Greece strengthened its international position in terms of the impact, originality, quality, and visibility of scientific publications. Bibliometric indicators for this period were high, Greece’s position among EU and OECD countries was also high, citation impact was growing and institutional performance was improved.

In more detail:

  • The number of Greek publications displayed a steady increase from 1996 until 2009, outpacing annual growth rates of the EU and the OECD. However, this positive trend was reversed in 2010 and Greek publications recorded a negative rate of change. The growth rate of OECD and EU publications was also reduced.
  • In 2010, Greece’s share of EU publications was 2.4% and of OECD publications was 0.85% –significantly improved compared to 1996.
  • With regard to the number of citations, Greek publications surpassed the EU and OECD growth rate during 1996-2010. During the last 5-year period 2006-2010, Greek publications received 277.130 citations, which is 5 times more than those received in 1996.
  • The average number of citations per publication (citation impact) gives an estimation of the impact of publications, especially at country level. During the last 5-year period 2006-2010, Greek publications received 4.98 citations on average surpassing the OECD (4.79) average and approaching the EU (5.52) average. The period 1996-2000 Greek publications received only 2.45 citations on average.
  • The relative citation impact continued rising throughtout the 1996-2010 period and in 2006-2010 was equal to 1.04 in relation to OECD countries and 0.90 in relation to EU countries.
  • There was also an increase in the visibility and impact of Greek publications in the international community. In terms of figures, over the 5-year period 2006-2010, 65.6% of Greek publications received citations.


Key actors in the production of scientific publications

The study examined the scientific publications of eight major institution categories. More specifically, Greek institutions were classified into categories according to the sector of activities in which they belong –e.g. higher education, research, health services, as well as their legal status as public or private institutions.

The majority of Greek scientific publications was produced by “Universities”, “Public Health Institutions” and “Research Centers supervised by GSRT”. These were followed by “Technological Educational Institutes”, “Other Public Research Centers”, “Private Health Institutions”, “Other Public Institutions” and “Other Private Institutions”.

More specifically, over the period 2006-2010, Universities had a share of 79% in the total number of Greek publications (43,960 publications), "Public Health Institutions" 14.3% (7,933 publications),"GSRT Research Centers" a share of 12% (6,675 publications),  "Technological Educational Institutes" 5.2% (2,868 publications), "Other Public Research Institutions" 3.3% (1,862 publications), "Private Health Institutions" 2.6% (1,441 publications), "Other Private Institutions" 2.3% (1,291 publications) and "Other Public Institutions" 1.7% (942 publications).

With the exception of "GSRT Research Centers", most of the institution categories had a decline in their publication output in 2010.

In the context of a general growth of indicators of Greek scientific activity, the visibility and impact of scientific publications measured during 1996-2010 had a positive course for all institution categories.

During the last 5-year period 2006-2010:

  • "GSRT Research Centers" and "Private Health Institutions" had the highest percentage (%) of cited publications among all institution categories, being 75% and 69.5% respectively.
  • "GSRT Research Centers" and "Private Health institutions" were above the world average in terms of publication impact, with field normalised citation scores 1.20 and 1.18 respectively.


Key scientific fields of Greek publications

With an aim to identify the key scientific fields in which Greek research activity takes place, Greek publications were classified into six major scientific fields: “Natural Sciences”, “Engineering & Technology”, “Medical & Health Sciences”, “Agricultural Sciences”, “Social Sciences” and “Humanities” and their subcategories as defined in the Revised Field of Science and Technology Classification in the Frascati manual / OECD (Annex III).

The majority of Greek scientific publications came from the field of Natural sciences (a share of 53.4% in 2010) followed by “Medical & Health Sciences” (42%), “Engineering and Technology” (23.1%), “Social Sciences” (10.7%), “Agricultural Sciences” (5.1%) and Humanities (1.7%).

During 1996-2010, Greek publications in the “Natural Sciences” and “Engineering and Technology” were continuously decreasing. There was a growth in publications from the field of “Medical & Health Sciences”, “Social Sciences” and "Humanities". The number of publications in the “Agricultural Sciences” remained stable.

During the last 5-year period 2006-2010:

  • In all six major scientific fields, the impact of publications improved considerably. The field-normalised citation score in the field of the “Humanities” was the highest (1.14), followed by “Engineering and Technology” (1.12), “Agricultural Sciences” (0.99), ”Natural Sciences” (0.97),  “Medical and Health Sciences” (0.93) and the “Social Sciences”  (0.81).
  • The top performing scientific subfields were the following: in ”Natural Sciences” the subfield of ”atmospheric science” with citation score of 1.35, in  “Engineering and Technology”  the subfield “energy” (1.77), in “Medical and Health Sciences” the subfield “critical care and intensive care medicine” (1.43), in “Agricultural Sciences” the subfield “food science” (1.10), in “Social Sciences” the subfield “transportation” (1.34) and in “Humanities” the subfield “archeology” (2.10).
  • As regards the institution categories that excel in each major scientific field, citation scores above the world average were observed in the following cases: in the fields of “Natural Sciences” and "Engineering & Technology” for the publications of the "GSRT Research Centers" (1.11 and 1.25); in the field of “Medical & Health Sciences” for the publications of the "GSRT Research Centers" (1.22), "Private Health Institutions" (1.17) and "Other Public Research Institutions" (1.03); in the field of “Agricultural Sciences” for the publications of "GSRT Research Centers" (1.06) and "Universities" (1.05); in the field of "Social Sciences” for the publications of "GSRT Research Centers" (1.11); finally, in the field of “Humanities” for the publications of "GSRT Research Centers" (2.55) and "Universities" (1.04).


Scientific Collaborations

The collaboration degree in Greek publications showed a clear increasing trend over the period 1996-2010, both at national and international level.

  • In 2010, co-publications accounted for 62.3% of the total Greek publications output, compared to only 51.5% in 1996. This figure was close to the average EU and OECD. 39.5% of Greek publications involved international collaborations while 32.1% national collaborations. 
  • During the period 1996-2010, there was a remarkable rise in national collaborations, which may be partially explained by an increasing national funding for research collaborative work.
  • An increasing trend was also observed in international collaborations, however occurred at a slower pace when compared to national collaborations. During the 5-year period 2006-2010 Greek researchers collaborated with researchers from 166 countries around the world. Greece’s main partners were the United States, the UK, Germany, France and Italy.
  • The level and type of collaboration varies significantly for the different institution categories. The share of publications with no collaboration is particularly high for Universities, accounting for 37.9% over the last 5-year period 2006-2010. "GSRT Research Centers" had the highest international networking activity, accounting for 54% of international collaborations during the last 5-year 2006-2010. Finally, national collaboration holds a significant place in all institution categories; "Private Health Institutions" ranked first (73.5% during 2006-2010) in these type of co publications.
  • The majority of publications produced by national collaborations included "Universities" as partners. "Universities" have particularly strong collaborative links with "GSRT Research Centers" and "Public Health Institutions".

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