Pakistan surpasses BRIC countries by 2.54% in cited papers

In comparison to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, Pakistan has emerged as a leading country with the highest percentage of cited papers. In the last 10 years, 62.27% of the documents were cited from Pakistan whereas 59.73% of the documents were cited from BRIC countries.

As far as citations are concerned, they are acknowledgements by the scientific community of valuable findings. In addition, it also helps greatly to the ongoing research.

What does the report state?

Thomson Reuters in its report ‘Pakistan: Another BRIC in the Wall’ compared Pakistan with BRIC countries. The report also saw comparison of the impact of its research from 2005 to 2015. The key account manager for UAE, Iulian Herciu carried out the report.

According to the report:

“Despite facing substantial economic challenges, Pakistan research and development environment’s most influential research was not affected”

Furthermore, the report stated:

“Although from productivity perspective the comparison shows a huge difference, using contextual indicators we will see that Pakistan can be benchmarked with emerging and dynamic countries as those of the BRIC group”

The report also revealed that Pakistan’s scientific productivity increased by more than 4 times in the last decade. It augmented from roughly 2000 articles in 2006 to more than 9000 articles in 2015. During this phase, the number of highly cited papers featuring Pakistan based authors increased by 10 times from 9 articles in 2006 to 98 in 2015.

Pakistan vs BRIC

According to the data, Pakistan cited documents for a total percentage of 62.27% during 2006 to 2015 which is 2.54% more than BRIC countries’ 59.73%. Additionally, the percentage of Pakistan’s highly cited papers during the same phase was 0.71% while it 0.57% in BRIC’s case.

The report further states:

“In 2012, Pakistan’s Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI) was higher than all of BRIC countries. Also, percentages of documents cited and percentage of highly cited papers are higher”

While exhibiting focus on applied research, Pakistan has the best CNCI in engineering and technology when compared with 6 major fields of sciences. Furthermore, the data on natural sciences indicates a steady upsurge while medical and health sciences have observed large variations.

In comparison to BRIC countries, agricultural sciences hit a rock-bottom in 2015. Likewise, the group of humanities saw massive slope in 2015 after increasing way higher in the preceding year.


The educationist and physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy denied accepting the claims of the report. He stated:

“The results of the report were counter-intuitive and flatly contradict with what one daily observed and experiences inside any Pakistani university”

Another Pakistani theoretical physicist, Amer Iqbal, also expressed reservation about the findings of the report. He commented:

“Highly cited is not always the same as highly influential”

You can download the original report by clicking here.

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