Evolution and Trends of Research in Amazon-Related Issues and Relationships with Research Institutes

This section describes the different trends and evolution in terms of research on Amazon issues. For this, the different indicators resulting from the Scopus author identifier were used, which assigned a unique number to the groups of documents written by the same author through an algorithm that, in technical and practical terms, coincided with the authorship of most documents found in this database. For this analysis, it was applied based on certain classification criteria. Thus, for example, if a document could not be definitely matched to an author identifier, this may cause more than one entry that might exist for the same author. Aggregation by author implies the presence of duplication affecting the total number of documents, in the citational indexes and therefore in the individual and institutional authorships. For this reason, if the connection was not identified with full evidence, it was grouped separately.

Figure 8 shows the relationship between the production of the articles and the indexes of the journals in which the subject of the Amazon appeared for authors at an international level. The relationships indicate a relative concentration of a large number of articles in low- and medium-impact journals in terms of citations and references, which would generally indicate that it was possible for topics pertaining to Amazon to find better research visibility in journals at the international level with better impact indicators and referencing.

Carrying out a more detailed analysis of the relationship by means of contiguity matrices, a great dispersion was observed for the group of journals in which the subject of the Amazon was published. For the group of journals that was selected by

the criteria of article production and impact indicators, it was found that the journals with the highest relationship of quality to publications were Acta Amazonica, Forest Ecology and Management, Zootaxa, Biotropica, Journal of Tropical Ecology, Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Amazoniana and Plos One. According to Figure 9, the matrix shows that the journals with the highest impact indicators were concentrated in Plos One, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Biological Conservation, Forest Ecology and Management, Biotropica, Journal of Tropical Ecology. In this sense, and given the international comparisons between the published articles, recognised authors and impact indexes, it is necessary to encourage publications with high-recognition documents that can clearly identify rigorous contributions to the area of knowledge of each of the consolidated research programmes.

Relationship matrix of the impact mdex and the number of papers at mtematioual level

Figure 9. Relationship matrix of the impact mdex and the number of papers at mtematioual level.

Incorporating as one of the quality criteria the quartile in which each journal is classified, the level of each of the products can be checked according to the author(s) and institutions based on the number of articles published and the classification of the journal according to quartile. Q1 represents the highest quality classification and therefore a number of citations, Q2 represents the following classification in order of importance and quality, Q3 and Q4 indicate the medium and low-quality classifications, respectively, according to the criteria established by the mam bases of data that take into account these classification indicators (see Figure 10).

As seen internationally, most of the articles related to the Amazon are published in the most recognised journals, which were classified in Q1 and Q2. This demonstrates

Relationship between the number of articles and quartile of the journal at international level

Figure 10. Relationship between the number of articles and quartile of the journal at international level.

the quality of the published studies internationally and that they are also becoming the benchmarks for the research area according to the number of citations and the citation index by each of the pah s they use as sources of information. Topics similar to their research interests were referenced in all related fields with the subject areas considered by each expeit.

As a verification measure and following the same quality criteria, a series of relationships was earned out to determine the degree of concentration of academic production to establish the different weights and proportions between the production and production quality. The findings are shown in Figure 11. Approximately 50% of

the articles were published in the journals that belonged to the Q1 classification and the remaining 50% to articles were classified into Q2 according to the grouping for the comparative differential analyses.

In summary, it was found that, with the grouping criteria of visibility, citations, impact factor and a number of articles published internationally, academic production was concentrated in highly recognised journals with H indexes that ranged from 71-268. Among this classification, the journals with the most publications were Biological Conservation, Forest Ecology and Management, Biotropica, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Plos One, Journal of Tropical Ecology, Zootaxa, Acta Amazonica and the Journal of Tropical Ecology.

In the case of the institute, Figure 12 shows the relationship between the number of articles published by the authors who were affiliated with an institute and the impact index of the journals in which the institute’s publications appeared. The relationship showed a relative disparity between the number of articles in low- and medium-impact journals in terms of citations and references and a low number of publications in high-impact journals, which revealed that for the near future there are remarkable possibilities to improve this relationship by seeking to publish in highly recognised journals to improve the visibility indicators of an institute. This strategy would improve the quality of research and publication in magazines of greater prestige at the international level, creating an outstanding impact and benchmarking indicators.

To break the results down into greater detail and making a more pointedly separate the contiguity matrices, there was a notable dispersion in the group of journals in which the researchers of the same institute published (see Figure 13). For

Relationship of the impact index and number of articles of a research institute

Figure 12. Relationship of the impact index and number of articles of a research institute.

Relationship matrix of the impact index and number of papers of the research institute

Figure 13. Relationship matrix of the impact index and number of papers of the research institute.

the selection of the different groups of journals where the research was published, it was found that there was great variability between the number of articles that were published and the impact indexes. For example, for a small significant number of articles published, the impact index of a journal could be 149, and for a significant group of publications with different themes in the same (journal) journal, its impact index could be 51. The relationship between the publication of articles and their quality was relatively low for the instimte, and it was established that in aggregate terms, the journals with the most publications were Acta Horticulturae, Revista de Biologia Tropical, Scientific Reports, Check List, Revista Colombiana de Entomologia, Diversity and Distributions, Biotropica, Aquatic Botany, Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, Diatom Research, Brittonia and Acta Amazonica.

The matrix in Figure 13 reflects that the journals with the highest impact indicator where the institute’s researchers published the most were Scientific Reports, Diversity and Distributions, Biotropica, Aquatic Botany, Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. In accordance with the above and according to international comparisons, it is necessaiy to encourage the production and publication of quality work in highly recognised journals to improve the institute’s visibility in its areas of expertise.

Following the same criteria as in the international comparison, the quartile into which each of the journals was catalogued and established as one of the quality principles. It can be established that for each categoiy of the magazine, the level of effort for each product to be published was greater; in other words, the requirements for the author(s) and institutions was greater according to the quartile of the journal, which was measured by its quality where the authors wanted to publish. The indicator of the journal ranking provides a measure of the impact, influence or prestige of the journals in then' publication themes; in other words, it expresses the average number of citations that are weighted and that are received in the years selected by the documents published in the magazine, generally in the previous three years. For its part, the H index is the number of articles in the journal that received at least a certain number of citations during the reference period.

The relationship of the number of articles to the quartile that appears in Figure 14 shows that most of the approximately 63% of the production was published in low- and medium-impact journals, and only approximately 37% was published in journals with high impact.

From the focus of academic production aggregation, the relationship between the quality of a publication in the categorised journals can be established with the exclusion of the predatory journals. Figure 15 shows that approximately 54% of the publications were concentrated in Q4 journals, 9% in Q3, 21% in Q2 and 16% in journals categorised in Ql. As shown, it was possible to follow the trajectory of the publications earned out by international institutions and researchers and to transfer a large part of the production to high-impact journals, resulting in greater visibility for the institute.

Figure 16 shows the concentration of academic production of the institute by type of document. Approximately 78% correspond to scientific articles, 19% are conference papers, 1.8% reviews and 0.9% to notes and book chapters. In addition to the types of documents, the publications in research books in international publishers that index this production in the different databases should be explored. In the

Relationship of the concentration of the academic production of a research institute

Figure 15. Relationship of the concentration of the academic production of a research institute.

Concentration of academic production of the research institute by document type

Figure 16. Concentration of academic production of the research institute by document type.

same way, the books should be accompanied by an adequate strategy for assessing publications of book chapters in international reference databases.

According to Figure 17, the sources of financing were primarily national and international. Diversification in financing is a determining factor for achieving the

Funding sources of the research institute

Figure 17. Funding sources of the research institute.

institute’s long-term financial sustainability. Therefore, the search for sources of external and international financing for research projects should be prioritised as should working with a greater number of research networks and institutions with track records and positioning at the international level with the primary purpose of improving prestige and the reputation of the institute.

Cooperation in terms of publications is a central element for networking and contacts at all levels. One ofthese factors is related to the integration and advancement of knowledge. In these terms, Figure 18 showed the academic production of the Institute at the level of its most representative collaborators at the national, regional and international levels. With the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota headquarters, approximately 23% of the academic production that was generated involved collaboration with the Universidad de Los Andes, and 8% involved other institutions around the country. Among the international institutions, Universidades de Sao Paulo and the Polrtecnica de Cartagena produced 5% and 12%, respectively, of the academic production.

Regarding the academic production about the Amazon by country, production was concentrated according to the degree of importance in the following most representative countries: Colombia (41%), Spam (12%), the United States (10%), Brazil (9%), the Netherlands (6%), England (5%), Pern (5%), Venezuela (5%), Ecuador (4%) and France (4%) (see Figure 19). In this regard and closely related to the sources of financing at the international level, it was feasible to obtain new resources from financing institutions with then main research institutes in these countries.

Academic production by institutional affiliation

Figure 18. Academic production by institutional affiliation.

Academic production by country

Figure 19. Academic production by country.

For example, Spain, the United States and some European countries have resources for cutting-edge research on topics, such as climate change, sustainable development, deforestation, forest management, agricultural processes, tropical forests, environmental protection, reforestation, remote sensors, biomass and cost-benefit analysis. Research associations are interested in the topics of new methodologies, conservation and protection of natural resources, sustainability, agricultural processes, forest management, deforestation and reforestation among others. Equally important is research on bioeconomic issues and new georeferencing and mapping developments at the regional level for global food security.

To support open access initiatives, electronic access to scientific publications and other series of academic materials, the Higher Council for Scientific Research created a ranking of the research centres using various selection criteria. This categorisation was prepared by the Cybermetry Laboratory of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) based on a series of indicators linked mainly to the volume and quality of the information on its pages. It also took into account the excellent scientific production, such as the most-cited academic publications in the Scopus database and the most-cited profiles in Google Scholar.

In the most recent edition of 2019, the research institute was ranked fourth in Colombia, an important position within the most recognised research institute nationwide. Compared to the rest of the research institutes in the world ranking, the institute was in position 2,620, and Latin America was in position 124 (see Table 4).

Table 4. Ranking of researcher mstitutes in Colombia.

Ranking

2019

Ranking

2018

World

Rank

Institute

Size

Visibility

Rich

Files

Scholar

1

1

1,066

Institute Nacional de Salud Colombia

1,425

1,627

1,645

1,729

2

2

1,267

Institute de Investigacion de Recursos Biologicos Alexander Yon Humboldt

521

1,309

1,462

2,627

3

1,540

AGROSAYIA Corporacion Colombiana de Investigacion Agropecuana

2,418

2,359

1,525

2,487

4

3

2,620

Institute Amazonico de Investigaciones Cientificas - SINCHI

3,823

3,589

2,264

2,981

5

4

2,620

Institute Colombiano para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia у la Tecnologia

120

631

2,538

3,879

6

5

2,800

Fundacion Cardiovascular de Colombia

2,552

4,107

2,349

2,919

7

8

2,905

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones del Cafe

1,941

2,842

2,538

3,076

S

10

2,934

Institute de Investigaciones Mannas у Costeras Jose Benito Yives de Andreis

1,073

1,897

2,538

3,410

9

11

3,171

Servicio Geologico Colombiano

314

1,794

2,342

3,879

10

6

3,232

Institute Geografico Agustin Codazzi

738

1,683

2,538

3,660

11

12

3,503

Institute Caro у Cuervo

510

2,512

2,304

3,879

12

9

3,704

Corporacion para Investigaciones Biologicas

3,861

5,371

2,538

2,653

Source Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - May 2020

This shows the institute's prestige, importance and recognition in all areas of its performance as a research institution with quality, reputation and influence on public policy issues at the country level. Its consolidation must be present hr the future developments of its different activities to preserve its distinctive seal as a global entity.

One of the most prestigious international indicators of the different areas of the institute’s work is the well-known Nature Index. This indicator generates a classification of high-quality and collaborative research results at the institutional, national and regional levels (see Table 5). The Nature Index is a database that takes into account author affiliation information that compiles research articles published in a selected group of 82 high-quality scientific journals.

Table 6 for the Colombian case classifies the mam institutions that cany oirt high-quality research on the subjects under investigation carried out by the institute. This ranking represents an excellent positioning opportunity for the institute since it does not currently appear within any of the rankings made by this index.

The ranking of Colombian institutions in the area of Earth and Environmental Sciences is presented in Table 7. Two entities that are not higher education institutions in Colombia stand oirt: the Colombian Geological Service and the Alexander von

Table 5. Racking of Colombian researcher institutes according to the nature mdex.

2018

Institution

FC 2018

3

Colombian Geological Service (SGC), Colombia

1.32

8

Fundacion Ecotonos, Colombia

0.63

18

Instituto de Investigacion de Recursos Biologicos Alexander von Humboldt

0.05

24

Centro de Investigacion de la Caiia de Azticar de Colombia (Cemcaiia), Colombia

0.03

26

Corporation for Biological Research (CIB), Colombia

0.01

27

Centro de Investigacion Obonuco, Colombia

0.01

28

Compensation International Progress S.A. - Ciprogress Greenlife, Colombia

0.00

Source: The Nature Index - June 2019

Table 6. Ranking of Colombian institutions in the earth sciences and envu'onmental sciences according

to the nature mdex.

2018

Institution

FC 2018

1

Colombian Geological Service (SGC), Colombia

1,32

2

National University of Colombia (UNAL), Colombia

0,85

3

University of Valle, Colombia

0,30

4

University of Antioquia (UdeA), Colombia

0.24

5

Pontificia Universidad Javenana, Colombia

0.20

6

Los Andes University, Colombia

0.20

7

University Corporation Lasallista, Colombia

0,03

8

Institute de Investigacion de Recursos Biologicos Alexander von Humboldt.

0,01

Source: The Nature Index - June 2019

Table 7. Ranking of Colombian institutions in the life sciences accordmg to the nature index.

2018

Institution

FC 2018

2

Fuudacion Ecotonos, Colombia

0.63

9

Instituto de Investigacion de Recursos Biologicos Alexander von Humboldt.

0.05

14

Centro de Investigacion de la Cana de Azucar de Colombia (Cemcaiia).

0.03

15

National Cancer Institute (INC), Colombia

0.03

17

Corporation for Biological Research (CIB), Colombia

0.01

18

Centro de Investigacion Obonuco, Colombia

0.01

19

Compensation International Progress S A. - Ciprogress Greenlife, Colombia

0.00

Source: The Nature Index - June 2019

Humboldt Institute for Biological Resources Research. From this perspective, this proves to be an additional incentive for the institute to be recognized in this area of research work as an institute that makes significant contributions to the environment and to be an additional reference in these issues associated with the different areas of collaborative work.

Table 7 shows the classification of Colombian institutions that carry out research in the life sciences. The order prioritises primarily those institutions that, due to their characteristics, conduct relatively similar research to the activities earned out by the institute. In this last table, the high potential of high-impact publications focused on the topics that had verified classification criteria that were used by the index for the ranking. This would be an additional alternative to achieve better positioning of the institute in its relevant research areas. This would be even more true for institutions with very similar thematic areas of research that appear in said classification.

The trends in the production of the research instimte showed a clear growing relationship over the last decades as shown in Figure 20. For the period between 1997 and 2008, an increasing trend was observed through the shift from publishing

article to 6 in high-impact journals. An oscillating but likewise growing trend was observed for the period between 2009 and 2018 with an extreme value at the end of the period of 26 reported publications.

The projections calculated for the 2019-2030 period were estimated and are shown in Figure 21. In the beginning, a pronounced drop was observed in the publications of the research institute to achieve relative stabilisation and a growing and significant trend in terms of academic production, particularly regarding published articles. The trend line corroborated the estimates made without major changes throughout the projected period for the prevailing trend.

In this sense, with the maintenance of the same assumptions for the different scenarios used to cany out these estimates, it was determined that despite the trend shown, there were no major changes. The smoothing growing trend was maintained without major changes in the fundamentals that generate quality production at the research institute. The assumptions were extremely conservative, but the past trend showed the publication behaviour of the institute. A less conservative scenario also showed an oscillating and increasing trend. With a higher level of productivity and academic production, for example, a change in profiles, relative improvements in

Papers published for the research institute, 1997-2018

Figure 20. Papers published for the research institute, 1997-2018.

Trends of publication m the research institute

Figure 21. Trends of publication m the research institute.

human capital and gradual adjustments in the generational changeover with human capital prone to publish in high-impact journals would change both the quantity and quality of publications (see Figure 22).

At the individual level, by academic production and research, an exercise was canied out to determine individual productivity using past production. To achieve comparative data, joint production was isolated to cany out different comparisons for the respective period for each form of production and generation of knowledge, that is, individual production and in group production.

Individual production of researchers from the research institute

Figure 22. Individual production of researchers from the research institute.

As shown in Figure 23. there was marked variability in the academic production published by the researchers of the Institute between 2003 and 2018. The aggregate shows that for the total number of analysed observations, the average was 7.9 articles with a deviation of 6.09 and a production that oscillated between 0 and 19 articles published by all researchers in the reference period.

To increase academic production, it is necessaiy to create incentives to improve quality production by researchers and with it, the quantity and quality of academic production should seek diversification in liigh-impact and high-quality publications. It is essential to see new production possibilities academically at the book level in prestigious publishers as well as the production of book chapters in the Book Citation Index.

Figure 23 shows the different citations made to the researchers of the institute according to their publications. For the total aggregate, it was established that for the observations of the analysed period, the mean number of citations was 68.1 with a deviation of 85.47, a minimum citation value of 1 and a maximum citation value of 277 for the group of researchers selected for the period reference. As seen in the figure, the trend in citations, especially in the last decade, was increasing and with notable expectations of receiving more citations given the crmeut situation in the Amazon, especially on the issue of deforestation.

As demonstrated for the research institute exercise, regarding the trends in publications, the individual exercise per researcher confirmed the trends indicated above (see Figure 24).

Figure 25, which shows the trends in the publications of researchers of the institute, manages to establish that in general terms with less variability in the individual trend series and despite some constant trends in the projected period, the sample showed a significant increasing trend in academic production. This again leads us to believe that incentives for high-quality production should be promoted hi the near future.

According to the correlation and the projected production. Figure 25 also shows a series of increasing trends in the number of citations that the papers published by the researchers of the Institute would receive. The aggr egate shows that for the total number of observations analysed, the average was 360 citations with a deviation close to 83 and a level of citations that could range from 242 to 496 citations if the number of articles published for the total of researchers in the reference period behaved in the different scenarios projected for each of the selected researchers.

In general, terms, the evidence shown, the projections made, the assumptions used and the exogenous variables analysed established the expectation of good future behaviour of the institute in terms of its academic production if a series of modifications are made to the organisational stmcture of scientific production and the generation of high-quality knowledge. These are necessaiy requirements to determine and confirm that the projections and trends behave in the desired ranges in the future based on the assumptions used.

 
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