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Evaluating patterns of national and international collaboration in Cuban science using bibliometric tools

Miriam Palacios-Callender (University of West London, London, UK)
Stephen Andrew Roberts (University of West London, London, UK)
Thomas Roth-Berghofer (University of West London, London, UK)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 14 March 2016



The purpose of this paper is to explore the hypothesis that collaboration was a key characteristic of Cuban science to maintain their scientific capacity during a period of economic restrictions and an important feature of Cuban science policy and practice for the benefit of society.


Collaboration was studied through Cuban scientific publications listed in PubMed for the period 1990-2010. The search was carried out using the advanced search engine of PubMed indicating < Cuba > in the affiliation field. To identify participating institutions a second search was performed to find the affiliations of all authors per article through the link to the electronic journal. A data set was created to identify institutional publication patterns for the surveyed period. Institutions were classified in three categories according to their scientific production as Central, Middle or Distal: the pattern of collaboration between these categories was analysed.


Results indicate that collaboration between scientifically advanced institutions (Central) and a wide range of national institutions is a consequence of the social character of science in Cuba in which cooperation prevails. Although this finding comes from a limited field of biomedical science it is likely to reflect Cuban science policy in general.


Using bibliometric tools the study suggests that Cuban science policy and practice ensure the application of science for social needs by harnessing human resources through national and international collaboration, building in this way stronger scientific capacity.



Palacios-Callender, M., Roberts, S.A. and Roth-Berghofer, T. (2016), "Evaluating patterns of national and international collaboration in Cuban science using bibliometric tools", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 72 No. 2, pp. 362-390.



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