Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Korea—the BRICK nations—have repeatedly been noted for their growing influence in the global economy and research landscape, and are often referred to as "emerging." What would move them from emerging to established?
To capture a better understanding of their progress, we reviewed data on R&D spending, human capital, research publications, and patent filings—key indicators of the sustained, diversified research innovation base enjoyed by many of the G7 knowledge economies. The data not only confirm and quantify the rising status of countries beyond the G7 axis as a group, but also spotlight the individual complexities that offer a richer tapestry behind the "emerging" label.
For the analysis, this report draws on data from Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge, Derwent World Patent Index, and third-party data, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Red de Indicadores de Ciencia y Tecnología (RICYT), and the World Bank.
The authors: "Investment in higher education and research builds up a country’s knowledge capacity, its ability to use discovery and innovation to create economic wealth, and its potential to realize benefits in health, culture and the quality of life. The increases in output that reflect the growing level of investment will not immediately be translated into world-class research because, as we noted, it will take time to train a new generation of researchers. It will also take time to draw the quality of the new research to the attention of the rest of the world.
That said, we can already begin to see strong signals of improving research impact among the five BRICK countries (as seen in Figure). In order to get a handle on research ‘excellence,’ we have used the frequency with which publications are cited by later works as an index of their impact on the rest of the research community. Citation rates vary by field and citation counts grow by year, so the actual citation count is adjusted (or normalized) for both discipline and year of publication as a ratio on the appropriate world average in the same Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge data, to give a Relative Citation
Impact index (where world average = 1.00)."
Building BRICKSFebruary 2013Global Research Reportby Jonathan Adams, David Pendlebury, Bob StembridgeScience Watch, Thomson Reuters