Tribology research output in BRIC countries: a scientometric dimension.

Author:B. Elango


Tribology is multidisciplinary in nature and includes mechanical engineering, materials science, surface technology and the chemistry of lubricants and additives (1). British Lubrication Engineering Working Group (1966) defined tribology as the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and the practices related thereto. The word Tribology was first coined by Jost (1966) in a report and it was derived from the Greek word tribos (2).

Over the years, the subject of Tribology came to be recognized as a very important aspect in all industrial operations. The application of correct tribological practices protect and enhance the life of plants and machinery, improves efficiency of operations, reduce energy consumption and prevent expensive breakdowns (3). Tribology is receiving increasing attention, as it has become evident that the waste of resources resulting from high friction and wear is very great. Correspondingly, the potential savings offered by improved tribological knowledge are also great (4).

An acronym, BRIC (refers to Brazil, Russia, India and China) was coined by Jim O'Neil in a paper entitled "Building Better Global Economies BRICs" and it is estimated that BRIC economies will overtake G7 economies by 2027. As early as 2003, Goldman Sachs forecasted that china and India would become the first and third largest economies by 2050 with Brazil and Russia capturing the fifth and sixth spots. BRIC nations account for much of the increase in science research investments and scientific publications. From 2002 to 2007, the current spending on science research will be doubled by China, India and Brazil. By 2020, China plans to invest 2.5% of GDP in science research (5).

A very few studies on scientific output of BRIC countries have been carried out in the past. Norbert Walz (2010) (6) analyzed the scientific output of BRIC countries and outreach countries during 1999-2007 in the field of limnology. Alex and Preedip Balaji (2010) (7) compared the scientific output of BRIC countries during 2004-2009 in the field of climate change research. Rons (2011) (8) compared the research performance between BRIC countries and N-11 countries. Kumar and Asheulova (2011) (9) analyzed the scientific output of BRIC countries. More recently, Yu, Wang, Xu and Ho (2012) (10) compared the growth trends of BRIC countries in the field of photosynthesis during 1992-2010. A conclusion has been made from the above studies that there was study on tribology research output in BRIC countries has been reported. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the tribology research output in BRIC countries reflected in the SCOPUS database during 2006-2010. The focus of the present study are to compare the growth of literature using compound annual growth rate, pattern of co-authorship using Co-Authorship Index, changing pattern of research activity among BRIC countries using Transformative Activity Index and compare the performance of BRIC countries using citation per paper and relative citation impact.


Some of the earlier studies have been reviewed related to the objectives of the present study and presented below.

Sridhar (2007) (11) measured the growth rate of mobile subscribers across regions of India using Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

Elango and Rajendran(2012) (12) analyzed the authorship pattern using Collaboration Co-efficient in the research field of Marine Sciences published in the Indian Journal of Marine Sciences during the period 2001-2010 which revealed that the average collaboration rate was better among the authors.

Rajendran, Jeyshankar and Elango(2011) (13) used Co-Authorship Index (CAI) to analyze the pattern of co-authorship among the papers published in the Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research during 2005-2009. The study revealed that the average Co-Authorship Index for all the authors reflects the world average in the journal and improving trend of coauthored papers.

Sinha and Joshi (2012) (14) studied the changing pattern in thrust of research in different solar photo voltaic materials using Transformative Activity Index (TAI) in India's solar photo voltaic research output during 2000-2009.

The relative indicators Citations Per Paper (CPP) and Relative Citation Index (RCI) have been used by Lalitha Kumari(2009) (15) in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Joshi, Avinash and Carg (2010) (16) in global forest fungal research to evaluate the scientific impact of a publication.

Moussa and Touzani (2010) (17) ranked marketing journals using h-type indices like h-index, g-index and hg-index.


* To identify the pattern of tribology research output in BRIC countries during 2006-2010.

* To examine the quality and impact of tribology research output of BRIC countries

* To study the collaboration pattern of authors and activity profile of tribology research.

* To map the highly productive journals and its ranking


SCOPUS abstract and citation database has been used for the present study and searched for the keyword 'TRIBOLOGY'...

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