Research productivity in the United Arab Emirates: A 20-year bibliometric analysis
Alsheikh-Ali, Alawi A.
Al Marzouqi, Ahmed H. Hassan
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Background: Despite increased attention on science and research in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), little is known about the national state of research productivity and how it evolved over time. Methods: Using the world's largest bibliometric database (Scopus), we reviewed research productivity in the UAE (1998–2017) in various disciplines and normalized it to population size and gross domestic product. We summarized the quality of research using conventional metrics of research quality and compared the performance of the UAE to its geographic region and to other countries of similar population size and economic standing. Results: Over the past 20 years, there was a 16-fold increase in the number of research publications from the UAE, and a 6- and 3-fold increase when normalized to population size and gross domestic product, respectively. Growth was observed across all disciplines, with an increasingly diverse research portfolio, and was coupled with a slight increase in the quality of publications. The crude productivity in the UAE was higher than that observed for the gulf cooperation council or Arab region, but lower when normalized to gross domestic product, or when compared to two countries outside the Arab region with remarkable research growth. Conclusions: Over the past 20 years, the UAE witnessed a significant increase in research productivity, coupled with a slight increase in quality and diversity of research. Accounting for the UAE's economic standing, and compared to other countries with excellent research output, the UAE has significant potential for further growth with increased resources for research and development.