By Faranak Bakhtiari

Iran leading the world in ‘science diplomacy’

November 29, 2020 - 22:18

TEHRAN – The rate of scientific contributions of Iranian researchers to the world increased from 17 percent in 2011 to 31 percent in 2020, becoming the world’s leading country in science diplomacy with 14 percent growth, according to scientific studies and analyses extracted from the Scopus International Citation Database.

Launched in 2004, Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books, and conference proceedings. Delivering a comprehensive overview of the world's research output in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities, Scopus features smart tools to track, analyze and visualize research.

The development of international scientific partnerships and diplomacy is one of the main policies of Iran, which is also emphasized by the country's higher education system, Mohammad Javad Dehghani, head of the Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC), said.

“One of the most important indicators of scientific participation is the share of the latest joint international scientific findings in the total scientific publications of the country,” he noted.

In 2016, the share of articles with international participation in total science production of the country was 20 percent, which reached 22-24-27-31 over the past 4 years, respectively, he stated.

After Iran, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan each had the highest growth in science diplomacy with 6 percent,” he said, adding, among Islamic countries, Malaysia had the highest growth after Iran, which was 5 percent.

The share of articles with international participation has accelerated from the total number of articles produced in all subject areas. But comparing 2019 with 2018, the fields of humanities and basic sciences have had the highest growth rate, he explained.

Dehghani went on to note that in 2019, about 30 percent of the scientific publications in the field of basic sciences with the participation of international researchers held the highest share among other fields.

After that, the articles of two fields of technology, engineering, and agricultural sciences are in the next position with 29 percent publications, then comes social science and medical science, he concluded.

Iranian universities on world ranking lists

Most recently, the Islamic World Science Citation Database (ISC) published the results of the ISC World University Rankings 2019, according to which 35 Iranian universities were listed among the world’s top 2,000 in various subjects.

Also, forty-three Iranian universities were placed in the Islamic World University Rankings 2019 announced by the ISC.

With a scientific growth rate of 10.4 percent in 2019, Iran ranked second among the top 25 countries in the world, next to China with a growth rate of 12.9 percent, according to the Web of Science website.

In 2000, Iran's share of scientific productivity was about 0.1 percent, which reached about 2 percent with a 20-fold increase in both Scopus and WoS citation databases.

According to statistics released by the International Web of Science Database, Iran's citation rank has always been on the rise over the last eight years, from 24 in 2012 to 16 in 2019.

Iran ranks first in terms of the number of universities in the region and among Islamic countries, according to Shanghai Ranking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2020.

Two Iranian universities have been ranked among the top 100 universities in Asia, according to Webometrics Ranking of World Universities for July 2020.

Moreover, 7 Iranian universities have been listed among the best 1000 worldwide; including, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Sharif University of Technology, Tarbiat Modares University, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran University of Science and Technology, came in 539th, 656th, 826th, 908th, 915th, 916th places, respectively, according to Webometrics Ranking of World Universities.

In June, THE Asia University Rankings 2020 ranked five Iranian universities among the top 100 universities worldwide.

The Center for Science and Technology Studies Leiden Ranking has placed 36 Iranian universities in the list of over 1,000 major universities worldwide in 2020 compared with 26 universities in 2019.

Also, five Iranian universities have been placed among the world’s top 1,000 universities announced by the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2021.


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