Scientist at the lab of the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition, Majadahonda, Madrid. Photo: EFE/Fernando Alvarado.

Spanish universities: Remarkable performance in scientific papers

The papers published by scientists in Spanish universities and cited in Web of Science rose to 54,764 from 31,690 (+72.81%) in ten years according to the Research Activity in Spanish Universities Observatory.

Research has intensified in Spanish universities over the past few years. According to the Research Activity in Spanish Universities (IUNE) Observatory, the number of papers cited in the online subscription-based scientific citation indexing service Web of Science increased by 72.81%, from 31,690 to 54,764 in the past decade.

This and other facts are included in the 2018 IUNE report on R&D+i in universities produced by Four Universities Alliance (4UA), whose members are the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), the Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).

After analysing activity in 79 Spanish universities from 2007 to 2016, the report concludes that the growth in research activity leading to publication – a key indicator in the study of research and innovation – was not only quantitative but also qualitative, as papers with high visibility rose by 53%.

Greater international cooperation

The IUNE report also highlights the increase in international cooperation. 43.18% of the papers were co-authored by researchers from centres in other countries (+9.88%), while 28.06% were written with authors from other universities in Spain (+3.43%).

Finally, the report discusses innovation at university, based on technological production and the number of patents filed with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO): from 279 in 2007 to 529 in 2016 (+89.61%), totalling 4808.