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Introduction. Despite the significant number of research institutions and rich scientific heritage, published research from Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan) is traditionally underrepresented in international scientific literature. The goal of this paper was to analyze publication patterns in Central Asian countries, and to explore the factors that contributed to the publication productivity in Kazakhstan.
Methods. Publication productivity was evaluated using data generated by the SCImago Journal & Country Rank over the period of 1996-2014 for all of the 15 former Soviet Union Republics for all subject categories. Country specific data, including total population, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, research and development (R&D) expenditure (% of GDP), number of reserchers (per million people), was abstracted from World Bank data. ANOVA and ANCOVA analyses compared the mean number of publications among Central Asian countries. Separate analyses was done for publication patterns in the health sciences. Multiple comparisons were performed using Tukey method
Results. The analysis of publication productivity showed significant discrepancies in the number of published documents among the Central Asian countries. Kazakhstan demonstrated a significant increase in the number of published documents in the period of 1996-2014, mainly in the areas of natural and multidisciplinary sciences. Our analyses also showed that the number of publications are siginicantly associated with GDP and population size.
Conclusions. We identified large gaps in publication productivity among the Central Asian countries. The association between publication rate with GDP and population size indicates there is a need to adjust for these factors when planning research policy.
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