Research productivity in the Philippines

About a year ago, I posted an article in the BKR blog examining the country’s research productivity in terms of publications for the year 2010. As a follow-up, this time I will examine the research productivity for 2011 and compare it to 2010’s analysis.

Using the ISI Web of Knowledge database, I searched for publications coming from the Philippines (address=”Philippines”) and published in 2011 (year published=”2011″) in ISI’s SCI-expanded database. These search criteria are the same as the ones used previously.


TABLE 1(Column 3: Number of papers)
Top 5 Subject Areas
1. Agronomy 87
2. Plant Sciences 74
3. Environmental Studies 52
4. Agricultural Multidisciplinary 48
5. Biology 46
Most Published Authors
1. Raymond Tan
De La Salle University
2. Bhagirath Chauhan
3. David Johnson
4. Arvin Diesmos
National Museum of the Philippines
5. Arvind Kumar
5. Shi-Kang LiIRRI 9
Top 10 Institutions
1. University of the Philippines 343
2. International Rice Research Institute 139
3. De La Salle University 48
4. University of Santo Thomas 29
5. Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center 21
5. Mindanao State University 21
6. Research Institute for Tropical Medicine 18
7. University of San Carlos 17
8. World Health Organization 16
9. Ateneo de Manila University 15
9. St. Lukes Hospital 15
10. National Museum of the Philippines 11
10. Philippine Rice Research Institute 11
Other Institutions
1. Silliman University 9
2. Mapua Institute of Technology 8
3. Tropical Disease Foundation 7
4. Food and Nutrition Institute, DOST 6
5. Central Mindanao University 6
6. Visayas State University 6

Table 1 summarizes the results. The search returned 1,039 records, a 10.9% increase compared to last year’s result. Limiting further the document type to include only articles (825), reviews (42), and letters (18), the search result gave a total of 885 documents, a 26.4% increase compared to 2010’s (700). Of the 885 papers, 87 papers were on the field of agronomy, the top subject area. This is followed by plant sciences (74), environmental studies (52), agricultural multidisciplinary (48), and biology (46), completing the Web of Science top 5 subject categories for papers published from the Philippines.

Again, the University of the Philippines (UP) has the highest number of publications in 2011 with 343 articles (up from 302 articles in 2010). UP is followed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) with 139 articles (109 in 2010). For 2011, De La Salle University (in 4th place previously) overtakes the University of Santo Thomas (3rd place previously); the former with 48 papers and the latter having 29 papers. Completing the top 5 are the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and Mindanao State University with 21 papers each. The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine stays at the 6th place with 18 papers, followed by University of San Carlos with 17 papers, also maintaining its 7th place. Ateneo de Manila University and St. Lukes Hospital are tied at the 8th place with 15 papers. The National Museum of the Philippines and Philippine Rice Research Institute are also tied at the 9th place with 11 papers each. Completing the top 10 is Silliman University with 9 papers.

Other institutions which also produced more than 6 papers include Mapua Institute of Technology (8), Tropical Disease Foundation (7), Food and Nutrition Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (6), Central Mindanao University (6) and Visayas State University (6). It is interesting to note that there are institutes not included in 2010 which are now in 2011’s list, such as SEAFDEC, Tropical Disease Foundation, Central Mindanao University, and Food and Nutrition Institute of the Department of Science and Technology.

For individual researchers, the most published author this year with 17 publications is Raymond Tan from De La Salle University. He had 11 publications in 2010 and placed 3rd among the top authors. He is followed by Bhagirath Chauhan from IRRI with 12 publications. David Johnson, also from IRRI, comes third with 11 publications. Both Chauhan and Johnson were among the top five authors in 2010. Placing 4th is Arvin Diesmos from the National Museum of the Philippines with 10 publications. In 2010, he had 14 publications and was the top author. Lastly, the 5th place is shared by two researchers from IRRI, Arvind Kumar and Shi-Kang Li with nine publications each. As can be seen, this year’s top five positions are dominated by researchers from IRRI.

This time, I also looked at the top sources or journals where these papers were published. The leading journal publishing our research output is the Philippine Agricultural Scientist (PAS) with 26 articles. PAS is published by the College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines in Los Banos.  PAS is followed by Asia Life Sciences which contributed 24 articles. Asia Life Sciences is a non-stock, non-profit refereed journal and is based in Laguna, Philippines. Field Crops Research, published by Elsevier, and Philippine Journal of Crop Science, published by Crop Science Society of the Philippines and the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resources Research, followed next with 22 articles each. The Journal of Environmental Science and Management, produced by UP Los Banos, comes 4th with 15 articles. Finally, the Philippine Journal of Veterinary Medicine published by the College of Veterinary Medicine, UP Los Banos completes the top five with 14 articles. The remaining articles are dispersed among several other publications. It is interesting to note that five of the six journals publishing 101 out of the 885 articles, or 11.4% of the total research output, are actually based in the Philippines.

Finally, I would like to end this article with the usual disclaimer. Note that this list is not exhaustive. The data is based on the search result from the ISI Web of Knowledge website’s database as of July 1, 2012. The search parameters used are also limited to the specified criteria and therefore do not represent the entirety of the individual’s or institute’s research output. There is also the possibility that the numbers above may change as the website continues to update its database. But overall, hopefully this gives us an idea of the current research landscape in the Philippines. As we have seen, the country’s research output is primarily driven by the two leading institutions, namely UP, the country’s premier university, and IRRI. It is encouraging to see that some institutes are already starting to catch up.

Article originally posted in the BKR blog.