Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Climate Change Research (1991-2012): Comparative Scientometric Study of Argentina, Brazil, China, India and Mexico

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Climate Change Research (1991-2012): Comparative Scientometric Study of Argentina, Brazil, China, India and Mexico

Article excerpt


Climate is a component of the natural environment within which and against whose bounds human civilization has developed and prospered [1]. Climate change is one of the most significant challenges to global economic development. Every country contributes to growing greenhouse gas emissions, and every country will bear the socioeconomic and ecological consequences of global warming. Global air and ocean temperatures have risen as also the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Oceans have become more acidic and sea level has gone up (Gopal Raj, N. in The Hindu, Chennai Edition dated 16 November 2012, p.11). The Asia and Pacific region is more vulnerable to these risks than other regions, given its dependence on the natural resources and agriculture sectors, densely populated coastal areas, week institutions, and the poverty of a considerable proportion of its populations. The average annual surface air temperature of India has increased by 0.5[degrees]C in the past century. The consequences of certain levels of climate change are well understood and widely accepted. However, climate change is likely to include greater variations in climate phenomena, including droughts and floods, as well as more frequent and severe weather events, such as cyclones and storms, and greater seasonal variability from mild and severe winters to dry and very wet summers [2].

Scientometrics is the study dealing with the quantification of written communication which helps in the measurement of the published knowledge by analyzing literature, inter-relationship among different branches of knowledge, productivity, authorship pattern, degree of collaboration, pattern of collection building, and their use [3].

A scientometric study on climatic change literature was conducted by Li et al (2011) [4] who analysed the research trends in this field through Science Citation Index for 18 years (1992 to 2009). They also compared the growth of climate change literature from seven developed countries. We have here compared and studied the climate change literature from 5 developing countries.

This study has been undertaken with the purpose of finding out the comparative growth and characteristics of climate change literature of 5 developing countries namely Argentina, Brazil, China, India and Mexico from Web of Science[R]. The rationale for the choice of the countries is that these countries have high population density on coastal areas, and face severe pressure on natural resources mainly due to economic and demographic patterns; hence any major climatic fluctuations will impact them. The publications from these countries may also focus on such aspects that will aid in better management strategies for the future.


This study compares the growth of literature on climate change in the 5 studied countries and makes a quantitative assessment of status of the research by way of analyzing the following features of research outputs:-

* Annual growth of publications

* Document types used by the scientists

* Most prolific authors of five countries along with degree of collaboration

* Subject wise distribution

* Journal wise distribution

* Organizational distribution

* Language wise distribution

* Highly cited papers and h-index of 5 developing countries


Documents used in this study were based on the online database Web of Science[R]. Period of study is 1991 to September 2012 (21 years). The present study has used the topic search "climate change" within the specified time span. A total of 7065 records on climate change for 5 developing countries were retrieved. The search included the three citation databases namely Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Indices and Arts and Humanities Citation Indices. Once a marked list of papers has been created, the resulting export file is processed by HistCite[TM] (Bibliometric Analysis and Visualization Software developed by Garfield and colleagues). …

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