Transformations in the Ecuadorian Scientific Landscape: A Bibliometric Analysis of the Main Publications Trends and the Role of the Scientific Networks and the Public International Scholarship Program

Journal of Scientometric Research,2021,10,1s,s115-s128.
Published:June 2021
Type:Research Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Henry Chavez1,*, Jacqueline Gaybor2

1Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, ECUADOR.

2Erasmus University Rotterdam, International Institute of Social Studies, THE NETHERLANDS.


Like other Latin American countries, Ecuador has undergone major political and economic transformations in the last decade. Science, technology and innovation policies were at the core of some of these transformations. Despite the economic recession since 2015, the local techno-scientific landscape has experienced quantitative and qualitative transformations that need to be analyzed. This paper aims to shed light on these changes and on the Ecuadorian techno-scientific system, which so far remains under-researched. To do so, we first carry out a bibliometric analysis of more than 25,000 records with Ecuadorian affiliation from the Scopus database, published between 1920 and 2019. This allows us to reconstruct the growing complexity of local techno-scientific networks and their connections both inside and outside the country. This analysis shows a strong process of internationalization of local scientific production during the last decade, as well as a shift in research topics from publications focused mainly on health and environmental issues to research with a strong component on data and systems analysis. In a second level of analysis, we explore the relationship between these transformations in techno-scientific production and a postgraduate scholarship policy program which has sponsored Ecuadorians to study abroad over the past two decades. This analysis shows a significant correlation between the number of international scholarships granted and the number of indexed publications. The paper concludes that local transformations in techno-scientific networks are highly correlated with the internationalization process driven by this postgraduate scholarship program and in general by international scientific research training.

Publications with Ecuadorian affiliation in relation to the whole Scopus database