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Arctic Research Publication Trends:A Pilot StudyAugust 2016Authors:Dag AksnesIgor OsipovOlga MoskalevaLars Kullerud

ISBN no: 978-0-323-47586-0.

ContentCONTENT1INTRODUCTION2Arctic Research Cooperation . 2University of the Arctic . 3UArctic Science & Research Analytics Task Force . 3METHODOLOGY & DATA5Data Sources . 5Definition of ‘Arctic’ . 5Overview of Methodology . 8DESCRIPTION OF INDICATORS USED IN THE STUDY10VISUALIZATION131.Publication output: total and by country . 132.Publication output by publication channels . 173.Publication output by subject area . 174. Citation impact . 245. Publication output by institutions . 266. International collaboration indicators . 297. Economic impact of Arctic Research . 338. Mapping of Arctic Research . 379. The specific features of publication activities in the different country groups: ArcticCouncil members, Observer nations, and Nordic countries . 48CONCLUSION53REFERENCES55ABOUT THE REPORT56Authors . 56Contributors. 57Acknowledgements . 591

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyIntroductionArctic Research CooperationInternational scientific collaboration in the Arctic has existed for more than 150years, as exemplified by the International Polar Year collaboration started in 1882-83,and held most recently in 2007-2008. The Arctic environmental protection strategy(AEPS), the predecessor of the Arctic Council (est. 1996), the International ArcticScience Committee (IASC), the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA),and several other entities are all products of new initiatives started shortly after the endof the Cold War, around 1990.Today the Arctic Council functions as a policy shaping collaboration between theeight countries surrounding the Arctic - Canada, Kingdom of Denmark (includingGreenland and Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the UnitedStates (US). The Arctic Council is a unique international organization, welcoming theindigenous peoples of the Arctic as permanent participants in this collaboration. TheArctic Council also has a number of observers that includes non-Arctic states, intergovernmental and inter-parliamentary organizations, both global and regional, andnon-governmental organizations. UArctic, IASC, and IASSA are observer organizationsthat represent the scientific community in the Arctic Council.The main achievement of the Arctic Council is building the Arctic as a zone forpeace and collaboration, and raising awareness of the main environmental,development and economic issues affecting the Arctic and its peoples. The ArcticCouncil is the mother of two binding agreements between the member states: one onsearch and rescue and the other on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response.The Arctic Council also took the initiative for creation of two independentorganizations: the University of the Arctic in 1998, and more recently the ArcticEconomic Council, in 2014.In fall 2016, the Arctic Council will conclude a binding agreement on Arcticscientific collaboration that intends to simplify access to research areas, movement ofsamples, data and people among the Arctic eight countries.With an increasing interest in the Arctic across the globe, along with the longhistory of scientific collaboration within the region and the engagement in Arcticscience by the Arctic Council, it is time to document the state of scientific collaborationin and about the Arctic.2

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyUniversity of the ArcticThe Arctic Council (shortly after its own creation 20 years ago) created theUniversity of the Arctic (UArctic) as a decentralized higher education institutionintended to address the challenges of sustainable development in the circumpolarregion. In the Iqaluit declaration (1998) the Ministers of the Arctic Council wrote thatthey hereby “Welcome, and are pleased to announce, the establishment of theUniversity of the Arctic, a University without walls ”Nearly twenty years later, the world’s attention to the Arctic region has growntremendously. UArctic, like the Arctic Council, has always placed a strong emphasis onthe Arctic’s role as a region of peace and cooperation. The UArctic is now a uniquenetwork of over 170 universities and higher education institutions, including allnorthern academic institutions, as well as the majority of all institutions conductingresearch and education in and about the Arctic in the eight Arctic Council memberstates. UArctic also welcome members from non-Arctic states. The membership ofUArctic is at the moment evenly distributed across Northern regions, withapproximately 50 members in each of, North America, the Nordic countries, and Russia.In addition UArctic has 20 members from non-Arctic states.Today, UArctic members are pooling and sharing resources to build cooperationbased on the strengths each member organization brings. UArctic has become thesupporting network that enables much of the international academic collaborationacross the circumpolar North, and myriads of collaborative efforts have come to realityas a consequence of twenty years of partnership and cooperation.UArctic Science & Research Analytics Task ForceThe UArctic Science & Research Analytics Task Force was established in 2015following the UArctic Rector’s meeting in Umeå, Sweden. The Task Force membersinclude a small, but diverse international group of subject-matter experts who arewilling to participate and contribute to this unique and challenging endeavour.Members represent all key macro-regions of the UArctic and the Arctic Council – NorthAmerica, Russia, and the Nordic countries as well as UArctic partners in IASC and IASSA;there is also representation of expertise from the International Polar Year.The main goal of the Task Force is to identify challenges and gaps in knowledgeabout the Arctic, using big-data analytics tools and bibliometric/scientometricapproaches and methods, and to inform research-based solutions that are possiblethrough the efforts of the UArctic Network. The Task Force has partnered and is liaisingwith global data and information providers in order to improve the representation andvisibility of Arctic research in the global indexed research output.3

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyGiven the increasing volume of research data generally, one of the long-termobjectives is to monitor the state of Arctic research efforts across institutions andcountries and to provide fact-based insights for the Arctic research community, thegeneral public, and policymakers from Arctic Council member1 and observer2 statesabout Arctic education, collaboration, researcher mobility, science & technology trendsand collaboration gaps, challenges, and opportunities.1Canada, Finland, Iceland, Kingdom of Denmark, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, United Statesof America.2France, Germany, Italian Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, People's Republic of China, Poland,Republic of India, Republic of Korea, Republic of Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom.4

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyMethodology & DataData SourcesThis study is built on data from the Scopus dataset, which was transferred to theSciVal data visualization platform for visualization and analysis purposes. Both Scopusand SciVal were developed and are owned by Elsevier, an international provider of datasolutions and publisher ( The Scopus data contains a variety ofindicators and statistics on scientific and scholarly publishing. SciVal uses Scopuscontent from 1996 on. Scopus was developed by and is owned by Elsevier. It is thelargest abstract and citation database of peer reviewed research literature in the world,with abstracts and citation information from more than 60 million scientific researcharticles in 22,000 peer-reviewed journals published by over 5,000 publishers.3Definition of ‘Arctic’There are many ways to define the Arctic, and there are a myriad of approachesto defining it in daily use. This includes self-perception by its people, culture andhistory, latitude (arctic circle), political definitions (where the rationale for borders isoften driven by national economic or political goals), as well as a set of natural sciencebased definitions, using climate, eco-systems and eco-regions, animals, vegetation, seaice, permafrost and so forth. There also are many historical, and partly mythologicaldefinitions of the North4.A useful definition of “the Arctic” should be able to separate the North and theArctic as an area with definable ecological / natural systems that are clearlydifferentiated from those farther south, preferably in a manner that also reflects“northern”, as opposed to “not so northern”, human realities and activities.Furthermore, the definition should preferably be close to “commonunderstandings” of the North and or the Arctic, even if this understanding varies byaudience. In addition it should be consistent with national (sometimes policy driven)definitions, but not be influenced by country borders. Finally, it must be practical to use.If these goals are attainable, that indicates that easily recognizable concepts can be usedto separate the Arctic from the non-Arctic.The UArctic Science Analytics Arctic definition follows the general trend of theArctic Council-related definitions of the Arctic. This choice is pragmatic; itacknowledges the general acceptance of the Arctic Council as the body representing theArctic globally.3For further information, see: xamples include arctique.htm and map old.htm.45

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyMore specifically the UArctic Science Analytics Arctic definition follows the ArcticHuman Development Report (AHDR) boundaries, administrative boundaries on landareas when addressing socioeconomic and human related issues, while following thesouthernmost of either the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) andConservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) boundaries for natural phenomena onland. Further it uses the AMAP border for marine areas with the flexibility that theSearch and Rescue Agreement can be used when that would be more appropriate formarine areas.5This study uses the combined Arctic Definitions of the Arctic Council(AHDR EPPR CAFF AMAP) to define the Arctic.5For AHDR, CAFF, AMAP lines see and for theArctic Search and Rescue Agreement see Search and Rescue Agreement.6

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot Study7

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyOverview of MethodologyOnly a small portion of research findings are published in specialized Arcticresearch journals (e.g. Arctic). Most of the publications appear in more general scientificand scholarly journals and thematic journals as well as books and monographs. Giventhe difficulty of defining the Arctic, the Task Force has utilized a keyword search queryapproach to identify publications relating to the Arctic.The key challenge is identifying research in and about the Arctic as per the abovedefinition and avoid research on objects and issues outside the Arctic as defined. Inorder to manage this challenge, we have decided to concentrate on two types of terms:geographical and indigenous peoples’ names. In addition we used a few general termsassumed to be unique to the Arctic (e.g. Arctic, tundra). By using place identifiers whileavoiding over use of specific disciplinary terms we hope to have avoided a disciplinarybias in the selection of research publications.We applied geographical search terms for identifying the publications, andcarried out a search through the titles and abstracts of all the publications in thedatabase. A similar method was used in previous bibliometric analyses of polar andArctic research (Dastidar, 2007; Aksnes & Hessen, 2009; Côté & Picard-Atiken, 2009).We have assumed that the geographical locality in which the research had beenperformed or relates to would generally appear either in the title or in the abstract ofthe publications. Names of geographical areas in the Arctic were therefore used as anindication of Arctic research content. Based on the geographical delimitation of Arctic(as above), names of mainland areas, islands, oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and key citiesand settlements were included. In principle, the number of potential geographicalsearch terms is almost infinite. For practical reasons, however, we limited the termsused to the main geographical localities. In total 350 terms were applied covering thekey geographical regions in all eight Arctic Council member states.In addition to geographical terms, which embody a direct connection to the areasconsidered “Arctic” by their respective countries, we also assumed that using the namesof indigenous nations, peoples, bands, and tribes (e.g. Inuit, Saami, Nenets, etc.) assearch terms will provide further precision to the output of the search. According tovariety of anthropological, ethnographic and historical studies (Mousalimas 1997,Ingold 1992, Cruikshank 1992), indigenous people and their place names are typicallywell connected with the land and space, thus providing an additional dimension to thegeographic/geological search. It also reflects the Arctic Council focus on Arctic Peoplesas a key constituency for its work. We included these names in order to secure that therelevant research within social sciences, history, arts, humanities and life scienceswould also be captured by our study. In total 225 such search terms were applied8

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot Studycovering the official names and variations on their spelling (including Cyrillic, Swedish,etc.) to the search query, covering all eight Arctic Council member states.The list of search names and keywords is far from complete and this is a pilotstudy, which, we hope, will trigger significant methodological and substantivediscussions on both the data analyzed and the approach. We do believe that the methodwe have applied is adequate for the purpose of providing an initial analysis of the globalArctic research as it is reflected in Scopus database. However, there are also severalsources of potential errors. First, it is possible that certain relevant publications werenot identified because the publications do not specify where the research was carriedout, or because names of geographical regions beyond those included in the study werementioned. To reduce this problem, field-specific search terms (e.g. “sea-ice”, “polarbear” etc.) could have been used. However, this was not done in this pilot to avoiddisciplinary bias.Second, the method might identify some irrelevant publications, i.e. publicationswhich should not have been considered as Arctic research. This may be due to the factthat some words have more than one meaning or are used in contexts other than Arcticresearch. We attempted to avoid this problem by excluding words with multiplemeanings, and testing the dataset output based on various scenarios to identifyproblems of double meaning or words which trigger massive false positive referencewithout any relevance to Arctic research. Still, there might be some publications leftwhere this is a problem. In addition, there might be cases where particular geographicalnames are mentioned in the abstract, for example Greenland, but where the researchhad been carried out or mainly relates to other regions.Third, the study is based on the SciVal/Scopus database. This database does notcover all scientific and scholarly publishing. Some journals, books and proceedingsrelevant for Arctic research might be missing. For example the coverage of Russian andSwedish language sources, which contain significant volume of Arctic research, is notpresent in the database due to language coverage, and the proceedings from theInternational Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) are not yet included.The problem of language and types of publications create a remaining concern asit produce a systematic bias in the dataset, possibly for specific research areas. We dohowever believe that the value of the information coming from such a large dataset byfar outweigh the challenges as long as this problem is recognised. Most error sources(like double meaning of search terms) create to a large extent “random errors” (notspecific to one discipline, institution or country etc.), and in this case the value of thelarge underlying dataset by far outweigh these errors.In conclusion, there are limitations with this approach, but for most questionsthis is of less importance given the large number of publications involved and takinginto account that our aim has been to provide a general overview of Arctic research.9

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyDescription of indicators used in the studyPublicationsThe indicator “publications” measures research output. The indicator is definedas the number of publications with at least one author affiliated with the concernedinstitution or country. A publication may be counted as a publication of multipleinstitutions and countries if it is a joint work of authors from multiple institutions andcountries. If a publication is written by an author with multiple affiliations, the article iscounted as a publication of all institutions with which the author is affiliated. Apublication which is co-authored by authors from different countries thus countstowards the publication output of each country.2 SciVal deduplicates all the publicationswithin an aggregate entity (e.g. group of countries), so that a publication is only countedonce even if it is co-authored by several of the component entities3.Publication sharePublication share is the global share of publications for a specific subject area orgroups of countries expressed as a percentage of the total output. Using a global sharein addition to absolute numbers of publications provides insight by normalizing forincreases in world publication growth and expansion of the field in question or thewhole Scopus database (Pan, 2014).Institutions in SciValInstitutions are groupings of related Affiliation Profiles which have beenmanually created as a convenient starting point for SciVal users; approximately 4,500Institutions have been predefined and are available in SciVal (Colledge & Verlinde2014).Field-Weighted Citation ImpactThe Field-Weighted Citation Impact in SciVal indicates how the number ofcitations received by an entity’s publications compares with the average number ofcitations received by all other similar publications in the data universe: how do thecitations received by this entity’s publications compare with the world average? A Field-Weighted Citation Impact of 1.00 indicates that the entity’s publicationshave been cited exactly as would be expected based on the global average forsimilar publications; the Field-Weighted Citation Impact of “World”, or the entireScopus database, is 1.0010

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot Study A Field-Weighted Citation Impact of more than 1.00 indicates that the entity’spublications have been cited more than would be expected based on the globalaverage for similar publications; for example, 2.11 means 111% more cited thanworld average A Field-Weighted Citation Impact of less than 1.00 indicates that the entity’spublications have been cited less than would be expected based on the globalaverage for similar publications; for example, 0.87 means 13% less cited thanworld average.Similar publications are those publications in the Scopus database that have thesame publication year, publication type, and discipline.International CollaborationInternational Collaboration is indicated by articles with at least two differentcountries listed in the authorship list.Academic-Corporate CollaborationThe organization-types used in SciVal are based on aggregations of the Scopusorganization-types to group similar functions together, and to simplify the options forthe user. SciVal uses 5 organization-types: Academic, Corporate, Government, Medical,and Other. These are composed of the following Scopus organization-types: Academic: university, college, medical school, and research institute Corporate: corporate and law firm Government: government and military organization Medical: hospital Other: non-governmental organizationAcademic-Corporate collaboration is indicated by articles with at least twodifferent types of organization - Academic and Corporate one.PatentsInformation about patents in SciVal is obtained from five of the world’s largestpatent offices: WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) entity groups USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) EPO (European Patent Office) JPO (Japan Patent Office) IPO (Intellectual Property Office), UK11

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyPatent-article citations – specific references in patents to published research.Patent-article citations provide a proxy for innovation and the potential to transferknowledge to industry, also referred to as the valorization of knowledge – creatingvalue out of knowledge. Patent-article citations can provide an important indicator ofthe overall socio-economic impact of an institution.12

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyVisualizationMapping is made using VOSviewer - a computer program for creating mapsbased on network data and for visualizing and exploring these maps, created in CWTS.All other graphs are either imported from SciVal and Scopus, or made inMicrosoft Excel and R - a programming language and software environment forstatistical computing and graphics supported by the R Foundation for StatisticalComputing.1. Publication output: total and by countryThe analysis reveals that the global scientific production of Arctic publicationshas increased significantly during the period 1996-2015. In 2015 almost 11,000 paperswere published, compared to Fewer than 5,000 in the years 1996-1999 (Figure 1). Thenumber of publications has been growing at a relatively constant pace, albeit with someannual fluctuations. In total, we identified 148,000 publications that fell within ourcriteria and were categorized as relating to the Arctic. The figures reflect that theresearch activities relating to the Arctic have expanded significantly in the recent twodecades. A main reason for this is probably the growing awareness that the Arctic has akey role in the understanding of climate change effects.Figure 1. The development of the global output of Arctic scientific publications, 1996–2015.Arctic Research output 00000.50%0.40%0.30%100000.20%0.10%10000.00%Arctic Research, % of World outputArctic ResearchWorld13

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyFigure 1 also shows the proportion of the publications in Scopus focused on theArctic compared with the whole of the database (world). This proportion has beenrelatively stable during the period shown (in the range of 0.35 to 0.42 per cent).Interestingly, despite the strong increase in the Arctic publication volume, theproportion of the total in the database has not increased. This is due to the fact that totalnumber of scientific publications in Scopus also has increased significantly during theperiod6.One might have assumed that Arctic research would show stronger relativegrowth than the global average. However, the empirical results do not support that thishas been the case. 2007-2008 was the International Polar Year (IPY), an internationallycoordinated campaign that represented a major initiative to strengthen researchactivities in the polar regions. Several countries increased their budgets for polarresearch considerably as part of the IPY-participation. One might expect that the resultsof this campaign would be reflected in increased publication numbers, with a one orthree year delay. Although the numbers are higher in the 2009-2011 period than in theprevious period, there is no obvious break in the trend line. Thus, the impact of thiscampaign seems to be too limited to be reflected in overall global publication numbers.Figure 2 shows which countries that make the largest contribution to Arcticresearch in terms of publication output7. As in almost all fields, the U.S. is by far thelargest nation with more than 3,100 publications in 2015. Then U.S. is followed byRussia and Canada with almost 2,300 and 1,600 publications, respectively. The UnitedKingdom and Norway are the fourth and fifth largest countries. The list of countriescontributing to Arctic research is very long: however, many countries have only a verysmall publication output.Figure 2 also shows the publication numbers in 2006 and 2015. For all countriesthere is a significant increase during the 10-year period. However, some countries havea stronger relative growth than others. China is by far the nation with the highestrelative growth (260 per cent increase), and the republic is now the 7th largest countryin terms of Arctic scientific publications. This strong growth is, however, not unique forArctic research and overall China is now the second largest country in the world interms of publication output. Of the larger Arctic research nations, Russia shows thestrongest relative growth during the period, with a 117 percent increase. USA and6Generally, the growth in publication numbers reflect that the global science system is expandingfrom year to year. More people are involved in research and more money is being spent. However,in addition there are database effects, as the Scopus’ coverage of the global research literature hasbeen increasing during the period7When we are measuring contributions by country, we are are counting contributions according tothe location of the institution at which a researcher is based, not the country of origin of individualresearchers nor the place studied.14

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot StudyCanada rank among the countries with lowest relative growth, although in absolutenumbers the increase in publication output is still very large.In Figure 3, the countries have been classified in different groups: Arctic Councilmember, Arctic Council observers, and other countries. Researchers in Arctic Councilstates have contributed to approximately 70 per cent of the total Arctic publicationoutput, the observer countries to 30 per cent and other countries to 10 per cent (note:these numbers do not add up to 100 due to international co-authorship). Theseproportions have been fairly stable during the time period of this study15

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot e increaseNumber of publicationsFigure 2. Number of Arctic scientific publications by country,* 2006 and 2015, andrelative increase.60%30%0%20062015Relative increase*) Limited to countries with more than 200 publications in 2015.Figure 3. Distribution of Arctic scientific publications by groups of countries, 400030%20%200010%00%2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015Full queryCouncilObservers%Council% Observers% all ArcticAll Arctic countries16

Arctic Research Publication Trends: A Pilot Study2. Publication output by publication channelsIn the Scopus database, the majority of Arctic research publications arepublished in journals (74.8% of all Scopus publications in 2001-2015) and conferencepapers (13.3%). Reviews make up 4.2% of publications, and books and book chapterstogether comprise just 2.7% (Figure 4) 8 . Only a very small proportion of thepublications are books and books publications. This issue is further discu

general public, and policymakers from Arctic Council member1 2and observer states about Arctic education, collaboration, researcher mobility, science & technology trends and collaboration gaps, challenges, and opportunities. 1 Canada, Finland, Iceland, Kingdom of Denmark, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, United States of America.

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