Nature | News Feature

The impact gap: South America by the numbers

Article tools

The expanding economies of South America have led to a significant rise in scientific output over the past two decades, and research spending has increased in most countries. But given the region’s share of the world’s population and gross domestic product (GDP), publication rates still fall short of what would be expected. Research quality has not kept pace with rising output, and the continent’s research papers still struggle to attract citations from the rest of the world. There are huge inequalities across the region, too: Brazil dominates the publication record, for example, whereas Chile takes pole position in the patent landscape and Argentina scores highly in terms of the proportion of its population working in science.

Design: Wesley Fernandes/Nature; Sources: Map, Publishing Landscape, Scival, from Elsevier/Scopus; The hidden continent, Abel Packer/Scielo

Design: Wesley Fernandes/Nature; Source: Elsevier/Scopus & R. Van Noorden/Scopus

Design: Wesley Fernandes/Nature; Source:: RICYT/UNESCO

Design: Wesley Fernandes/Nature; Source: RICYT/UNESCO/WIPO/World Bank

Design: Wesley Fernandes/Nature; Source: RICYT/UNESCO/WIPO/World Bank

Journal name:
Date published:

For the best commenting experience, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will see comments updating in real-time and have the ability to recommend comments to other users.

Comments for this thread are now closed.


Comments Subscribe to comments

There are currently no comments.

sign up to Nature briefing

What matters in science — and why — free in your inbox every weekday.

Sign up



Nature Podcast

Our award-winning show features highlights from the week's edition of Nature, interviews with the people behind the science, and in-depth commentary and analysis from journalists around the world.