Is it reasonable to talk about cost effectiveness of national R&D investments through H-index?

January 26, 2017 no comments Posted in Análise de Dados

I recommend reading the interesting and profound article ‘Doing Hirsch proud; Shaping H-index in engineering sciences’ [1] by L. CZARNECKI, M.P. KAŹMIERKOWSKI and A. ROGALSKI, where the authors carry out, among others

The H-nature of things has been described, and several axiomatic characterizations of the Hirsch index have been gathered. The mechanism for increasing the h-index has been presented. Some similarities between h-index and the journal impact factor (JIF) have been stressed. Alsothe universal role of H-index in ranking countries in all areas and in Engineeringhas been exampled in extended tables.

At a certain point the authors make a visit to the indexes of scientific production by country, but the central theme is to dissect the behavior of h-index [3] in the sub-fields of knowledge within Engineering.

There I began to wonder how great it would be if they had had time and space to address how to effectively compare the production of scientific articles between different countries.

When I looked at the list of scientific articles produced by Scimago Journal & Country Rank [2] , I asked myself how to relativize those numbers in terms of population size, gross domestic product, and investment in research.

Adopting the H-index as a reference, the ranking is dominated by USA, UK, Germany and France.

When this list is seen throgh the light of the number of documents, China and Japan appear in the top 10.

Of course, effective investment outcomes are a complex issue with tangible  (patents, derivatives, exports) and intangibles (culture, education, quality of life, etc.) benefits that merit in-depth studies for adequate estimates [5].

But since SCIMAGO has established a scale of absolute values and a ‘relative’ scale via the H-index and as we have data available from the World Bank on R & D investments [4], why not to try a comparative look ?

The parameter that I think is the best to express the relative preference of the countries for investment in R & D and present in the data from World Bank was ‘Expenditure per Capita’. At first, to me, not an Economist, this metric seems fine to relativize the influence of population size and the size of gross domestic product.

The per capita expenditure has an expressive correlation index with the H-index.

Expenditures on R&D per capita H index
Expenditures on R&D per capita 1
H index 0,668 1

In my view as a non-specialist, the cost effectiveness of national R & D investment policies can be indirectly compared by comparing not absolute numbers of published documents or citations to those documents. It is necessary that these numbers be relativized according to the per capita investment that each nation applies in research.

In the light of these factors, in a superficial analysis and only as a basis for reflection and pure curiosity, it seems to me that the following list would be a more expressive ranking as to the capacity of countries to produce significant results for each $ invested by their citizens.

The top 30 countries with the highest per capita investments in R & D.

Rank Country/Region
1 Switzerland
2 Finland
3 South Korea
4 Sweden
5 United States
6 Austria
7 Taiwan
8 Israel
9 Denmark
10 Japan
11 Germany
12 Singapore
13 Luxembourg
14 Norway
15 Belgium
16 Australia
17 Netherlands
18 France
19 Iceland
20 Ireland
21 Canada
22 Slovenia
23 Qatar
24 United Kingdom
25 Czech Republic
26 Italy
27 Spain
28 New Zealand
29 Estonia
30 Portugal

 

The top 30 in cost effectiveness in the production of ‘Citable Documents’ according to SCIMAGO.

Rank Country/Region Citable Docs/ Exp.Capita
1 Iran 215233,92
2 India 214843,10
3 United States 140554,01
4 China 80972,22
5 United Kingdom 74974,18
6 Algeria 52281,36
7 Philippines 49210,56
8 Italy 46210,59
9 Poland 42051,60
10 Pakistan 41099,32
11 Spain 35824,27
12 Canada 35423,19
13 Indonesia 34955,25
14 Brazil 33722,51
15 Germany 31178,43
16 France 30977,12
17 Vietnam 25596,47
18 Peru 24421,70
19 South Africa 23045,28
20 Japan 22640,70
21 Thailand 22454,64
22 Uganda 20721,52
23 Turkey 17692,20
24 Netherlands 17537,15
25 Russian Federation 16908,82
26 Australia 16538,97
27 Argentina 15226,77
28 Colombia 15101,13
29 Greece 14702,44
30 Egypt 13800,96

The top 30 in cost effectiveness in the production of  ‘Citations’ according to SCIMAGO.

Rank Country/Region Citations/ Exp. Capita
1 Philippines 2,420
2 Uganda 1,798
3 Sudan 1,757
4 Peru 1,692
5 Algeria 1,232
6 Ethiopia 0,978
7 Indonesia 0,880
8 Vietnam 0,876
9 Iran 0,645
10 Georgia 0,637
11 Moldova 0,476
12 Pakistan 0,436
13 Uruguay 0,314
14 Bahrain 0,283
15 Botswana 0,276
16 Oman 0,268
17 Costa Rica 0,263
18 Colombia 0,250
19 India 0,188
20 Thailand 0,182
21 Morocco 0,144
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0,136
23 Mongolia 0,135
24 Chile 0,135
25 South Africa 0,122
26 Macedonia 0,114
27 Azerbaijan 0,113
28 Saudi Arabia 0,112
29 Egypt 0,100
30 Argentina 0,096

The top 30 in cost effectiveness in the production of  ‘H-index units’ according to SCIMAGO.

Rank Country/Region H units/ Exp.Capita
1 Philippines 30,19
2 Algeria 25,67
3 Iran 21,92
4 Peru 19,54
5 Indonesia 19,16
6 Uganda 15,48
7 Sudan 14,77
8 Vietnam 14,33
9 Pakistan 12,49
10 Ethiopia 11,12
11 India 10,82
12 Georgia 7,74
13 Colombia 6,00
14 Moldova 4,87
15 Thailand 4,48
16 Poland 4,13
17 Oman 3,58
18 South Africa 3,47
19 Saudi Arabia 3,25
20 Uruguay 3,04
21 Chile 2,94
22 Bahrain 2,92
23 Morocco 2,71
24 Ukraine 2,55
25 Egypt 2,51
26 Romania 2,47
27 Argentina 2,32
28 Brazil 2,32
29 Costa Rica 2,23
30 Botswana 2,13

So, congratulations to the Philippines who, according to these figures, are doing a beautiful and efficient work of scientific divulgation.

 

Here an intereactive version @ plot.ly [6] to play with.

But the theme is so complex that as I finished this basic exploration I began to think about the relative cost of keeping research in line with the cost of living and infrastructure of each country.

Okay, but this is for some fellow economist who can deal with this problem with greater competence and authority.

 

References

 

[1]       L. Czarnecki, M. P. Kaźmierkowski, and A. Rogalski, “Doing Hirsch proud; shaping H-index in engineering sciences,” Bull. Pol. Acad. Sci. Tech. Sci., vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 5–21, 2013.

[2]      SCImago, “SJR – International Science Ranking,” 2007. [Online]. Available: http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php?order=it&ord=desc. [Accessed: 26-Jan-2017].

[3]      “Google Scholar Metrics Help.” [Online]. Available: https://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/metrics.html#metrics. [Accessed: 26-Jan-2017].

[4]      World Bank, “Researchers in R&D (per million people) | Data.” [Online]. Available: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.SCIE.RD.P6. [Accessed: 26-Jan-2017].

[5]       Myles Gough, “Measuring the impact of R&D spending,” Measuring the impact of R&D spending, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/measuring-the-impact-of-r-and-d-spending. [Accessed: 26-Jan-2017].

[6]      “Plotly | Make charts and dashboards online.” [Online]. Available: https://plot.ly/. [Accessed: 26-Jan-2017].

articlecitationcountryh-indexinvestmentper capitar&drelative

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