2.5 Major fields of science

Aiming at identifying the fields of research where Greek research teams were most active and successful, Greek publications were classified into the six major fields of science “Natural Sciences”, “Engineering & Technology”, “Medical & Health Sciences”, “Agricultural Sciences”, “Social Sciences” and “Humanities” and their subcategories, according to the “Revised Field of Science and Technology Classification” (Frascati Manual, OECD, 2002). The results of this classification corresponding to the entire period between 2000 and 2014, are presented in Figure 2.5.1.

“Natural Sciences” receive Greece’s highest representation in the total number of publications (47.0%) in 2014. “Medical & Health Sciences” stands second (39.4%), followed by “Engineering and Technology” (21.7%). The remaining share of Greek publications was distributed among the “Social Sciences” (7.2%), the “Agricultural Sciences” (3.0%), and the “Humanities” (1.8). Even though “Humanities” is a significant field of national research, low shares of publications is to be expected, since scientific production in the field is overwhelmed by monographs and books, as well as them being written in other languages (non-English). These publications are not recorded in the standard bibliometric databases.


Figure 2.5.1




Figure 2.5.2 tracks the number of Greek publications in the subcategories of the six major fields of science. Data refer to the most recent 5-year period, 2010-2014.


Figure 2.5.2




Figure 2.5.3 shows the “field-normalised citation score” of Greek publications for the 5-year period 2010-2014 in the six major fields of science. This indicator is the ratio of the average number of citations received by Greek publications to the world average of citations of the same time period and scientific subject field. The normalisation was carried out at the level of each article/publication according to the Web of Science scientific subject fields. In the case of a publication being attributed to more than one subject field, a mean value of the fields was calculated. The field-normalised citation score or “citation score” was calculated using software developed by EKT. A value greater than 1, indicates that the impact of Greek publications was higher than the world average.

In the period 2010-2014, Greek publications surpassed or approached the world average across all fields, displaying citation scores from 0.87 to 1.16. The fields of “Natural Sciences”, “Medical & Health Sciences” and “Engineering & Technology” exceed world average (1.16, 1.09 and 1.02, respectively). These are followed by “Agricultural Sciences” (0.94), (0.93), “Humanities” (0.90) and “Social Sciences” (0.87). 


Figure 2.5.3



Figure 2.5.4 breaks down the main six fields of science into specialized thematic areas, areas in which Greek publications displaying relative citation scores greater than the world average.


Figure 2.5.4


Figure 2.5.5. presents an activity index of fields of science and specialized thematic areas of the Greek publications in the form of a bi-dimensional location of strong versus weak-performing thematic areas. The index compares the Greek production to the world performance in a ranking from -100 to +100. 0 indicates absolute balance, while positive scores indicate greater Greek production and negative scores indicate the opposite. Broken in four squares, the following four combinations are represented: low activity-high impact, high activity-high impact, low activity-low impact, high activity-low impact.

In the high activity-high impact category, the thematic area «physics, nuclear» records the highest relative citation score (3,26 – not indicated in the Figure for better representation purposes) with an activity index of 66,84 (belonging to “Natural Sciences” fields of science). Other areas of the “Natural Sciences” include “Physics, particles & fields”, “Astronomy & astrophysics”), of “Medical & Health Sciences” include “Rheumatology”, “Respiratory system’”, of “Engineering & Technology” include “Engineering, ocean”, “Engineering, environmental”, of “Social Sciences” include “Business, finance”, “Environmental Studies”, and of “Agricultural Sciences” include “Fisheries”, “Agricultural engineering”. 

Figure 2.5.5