Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0272-2690
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9889
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The article examines the number of contributions to scientific journals by authors from various OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries in 1998–2000 according to the commonly used ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) databases SSCI (Social Sciences Citation Index), A&HCI (Arts and Humanities Citation Index) and SCI Expanded (Science Citation Index Expanded). The number of contributions per million inhabitants is related to the main language of the country, the gross domestic product per capita and whether a country is a former socialist country or not. The social sciences, the arts and humanities, and the natural sciences are studied separately. It turns out that there is a tendency for a higher publication rate for English-language countries, slightly lower for countries with small languages, and even smaller for countries with large non-English languages. This is consistent with the hypotheses that there is a bias in the data bases from the ISI such that English-language journals tend to be overrepresented, that scholars from English-language countries write almost exclusively in English, and that scholars from other countries tend to publish less in English and more in their domestic language the larger their domestic language. This calls for caution in using these databases for international comparisons of research activity.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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