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Deeper look on The changing research landscape of the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey

The period of exceptional growth and impact that we examine in the most recent ISI Global Research Report is unsurprising given the MENAT region’s history of deep commitment to knowledge and learning.

I am very proud to have supported the creation of a new Global Research Report from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)™ which explores the seismic shift of the research landscape across 19 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT), spread from Morocco in the west to Iran in the east. It presents a global success story and demonstrates how MENAT research is growing in volume and impact, driven by increased participation in international research networks.

Collaboration, innovation and impact across the MENAT region

Our view of research in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey is enhanced by new developments led by the Egyptian Knowledge Bank (EKB), the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and the Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) in Iran.

Funded by the Egyptian government and launched in 2020, the Arabic Citation Index (ARCI)™  provides access to bibliographic information and citations to scientific journals from more than 400 expertly curated Arabic journals. By bridging the gap between local scientific output and global impact, the benefits of the ARCI are substantial.

These important developments, from MENAT countries leading in the regional research renaissance, confirm the value of national indexes as an important regional supplement to the international citation indexes such as the Web of Science™.

“It presents a global success story and demonstrates how MENAT research is growing in volume and impact, driven by increased participation in international research networks.”

To put the region’s research contribution into global context, this study also features a special analysis of MENAT research output mapped against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (Read more from the ISI about global research activity supporting the SDGs here.)

Researcher mobility: strengths and opportunities

The increasingly international scope of the MENAT regional research base is seen in its researcher mobility and collaborations. This report analyzes researcher mobility both within the region and globally, finding that there is a significant outward flow of talent, with North America and Europe being the most popular destinations.

Source: The Web of Science

It draws attention to the opportunity for more local collaboration within the region, where domestic mobility is relatively low and purely domestic papers currently account for about 5% of total output.

The findings highlight how collaboration within the region as well as with the rest of the world will:

  • enhance the quality of scientific research,
  • accelerate access to new markets, and
  • allow the financial costs of research to be shared more effectively, meeting the economic and societal challenges the region faces.

Download report

Note: This report follows on from a 2011 analysis published by Thomson Reuters: “Global Research Report: Middle East – Exploring the Changing Landscape of Arabian, Persian and Turkish Research.” If you would like to receive a copy of the 2011 report, please email [email protected].

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