Data from the Scopus International Citation Database show that Iran’s scientific diplomacy has reached more than 34 percent since the beginning of 2021, the highest level in the past 20 years.
Science diplomacy is the use of scientific collaborations among nations to address common problems and to build constructive international partnerships. It is a form of new diplomacy and has become an umbrella term to describe a number of formal or informal technical, research-based, academic, or engineering exchanges, within the general field of international relations.
Comparing the rate of 2020 with 2019, Iran with a growth of 12.5 percent and with a slight difference with India has gained second place in the world in terms of the growth of world science diplomacy, Mohammad Javad Dehghani, head of the Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC), said.
Malaysia also placed third with 12 percent growth followed by Taiwan and Turkey, respectively, he added.
In 2011, the share of Iranian articles with international participation was about 16.5 percent, which increased to 19.7 percent in 2016 and gradually in the following years, so that in 2020 and 2021, reached up to 30.5 and 34.2 percent, respectively, he further stated.
Dehghani went on to note that comparing 2020 to 2019, the field of technology and engineering with 18 percent had the highest growth among Iranian articles with scientific diplomacy. Then humanities have experienced 17 percent growth, placing the second, surpassing medical sciences, basic sciences, social sciences, and agricultural sciences.
The share of Iranian articles with international participation has had significant growth of 209 percent during an eight-year period (2013-2020), becoming the Islamic world’s leading country in science diplomacy, according to the Scopus International Citation Database.
Launched in 2004, Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books, and conference proceedings. Delivering a comprehensive overview of the world’s research output in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities, Scopus features smart tools to track, analyze and visualize research.
The number of articles indexed by the Iranian researchers on the Web of Science website in 2020 increased by 122 percent compared to that of 2013, which made Iran 16th in the world with 69,779 articles, and first among the Islamic countries for several consecutive years, Gholam Hossein Rahimi, deputy minister of science said in May.
This improvement is not limited to the number of articles and the country’s share in terms of top articles (the quality) grew from 0.95 percent in 2013 to 4.28 percent in 2020, which indicates a 350 percent growth in the production of the world’s top articles, he explained.
The growth has not been limited to the field of research and has been very significant in the field of technology; for instance, the creation of 13 science and technology parks, 4,553 technology units, and 1,653 new knowledge-based companies during the last eight years could provide employment for 34,707 university graduates.