Leading Tunisian scientists in Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. An Overview


Research Paper (postgraduate), 2015

10 Pages


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Contents

Abstract

Introduction:

Results and Discussion:

Methods:

Conclusion:

Acknowledgements:

References:

Abstract

In this research paper, a ranking of the 66 Leading Tunisian Scientists in Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering working in Tunisia and abroad is provided. It is clearly seen that 49 out of 66 scientists are working outside Tunisia and this is explained by the better conditions of research offered there. Furthermore, It is clearly seen that even the distribution of the scientists working in Tunisia according to their affiliation is not homogenous because of the lack of Research productivity of the Private Universities of Tunisia and even of several Public Universities. This limited performance of local Leading Scientists is mainly explained by a deficiency in their choice of international collaboration. That is why a new policy should be applied to ameliorate the organization of such research collaborations and let them more fructuous.

Keywords: Citation Analysis, Tunisia, Leading Scientists, Hirsch Index

Introduction:

Many works have been done these years to assess Research output and Researchers in Tunisian Universities ranging from assessing the overall performance of Tunisia (El Ouahi, 2014) to studying the performance of Tunisia by research area(Ben Abdelaziz, Abdelali, & Khmakhem, 2007; Hammouti, 2010). However, limited efforts have been done to assess the situation of research in Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering in Tunisian Universities.

In this research paper, a list of the main leading Tunisian scientists working in Tunisia and abroad would be given and then discussed in order to emphasize the reasons of the current situation of Tunisian Universities and scientists in research about Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering.

Results and Discussion:

The situation of scientific research about Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering in Tunisia is critical as 66 Tunisian Scientists only have a Hirsch Index superior or equal to 16.Among them, 49 are working abroad as shown in Fig. 1. These scientists are working in all the fields of in Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering and have important values of Hirsch Index.As shown, four of them are or were clearly mentioned in the list of ISI highly Cited Scientists (Thomson Reuters, 2015). This is mainly explained by the better conditions of research offered outside Tunisia (Frame, 1980; Turki & Turki, 2014).

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Figure 1: Ranking of Tunisian Scientists working abroad.Author’s own figure, source: cf. “Methods”

As for the Tunisian Scientists working in Tunisia, they are only 17 and their Hirsch Index is only equal or less than 25 as shown in Fig. 2. This performance is considered as limited when comparing it to the performance of the Tunisian Scientists working abroad and even to the performance of several local scientists in developing countries. For example, there are at least 6 Turkish Scientists working in Turkey having a Hirsch Index of 48 or more (Aguillo, 2015).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: Ranking of Tunisian Scientists working in Tunisian Universities.Author’s own figure, source: cf. “Methods”

This limited local performance is not explained by a lack of publications as 12359 out of the 43960 publications of Tunisian Universities in indexed journals and conferences between 1996 and 2015 are about Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics. This number of publications is increasing over years as shown Fig. 3.

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Figure 3: Number of Publications per Year from 1996 until 2015.Author’s own figure, source: cf. “Methods”

These publications are citable as 7280 of them are articles and 5355 of them are proceedings.

Even the inequality of the distribution of Tunisian local leading scientists according to disciplines is not absolutely explained by the lack of publication in the disciplines with lower research performances as 2720 works are written about Mathematics by Tunisian Universities, 7089 are written about Engineering and 4139 are written about Computer Science.

This is not explained by the language of the publications as 96.860% of them are written in English as shown in Fig. 4.

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Figure 4: Distribution of the publications according to their language.Author’s own figure, source: cf. “Methods”

However, the geographic distribution of the leading local Tunisian Scientists can be explained by the little performance of most of the Tunisian Universities as most of the publications are written by the Universities of Sfax, Tunis Manar, Carthage, Monastir, Tunis and Manouba as shown in Fig. 5.

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Figure 5: Distribution of the publications according to the affiliation of their authors.Author’s own figure, source: cf. “Methods”

What really explains the limited performances of the Tunisian local leading scientists is the choice of the international collaborations of the scientists and the universities. For a country that is dependent on international collaboration to perform researches as 4205 of the 12359 publications are written with collaborators from other countries, the choice of the countries of collaboration is important in ameliorating the number of citations of Tunisia. However, the choice of collaborations does not seem to be considering the number of citations received by the regions and the impact of the works of each of the regions as shown in Fig. 6.

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Figure 6: Distribution of the international collaborations according to regions.Author’s own figure, source: cf. “Methods”

In fact, the scientists and the Universities are not considering the rise of research in the Far East Countries like China (Zhou, Thijs, & Glänzel, 2008)and in North America like in United States and Canada (Scimago Lab, 2015; Thomson Reuters, 2015)and are more interesting in collaborating with Western Europe for Historical Reasons, North Africa for Political Reasons and Middle East for personal purposes.

When seeing the country collaboration of the Tunisian Universities, it is clearly seen that 2703 of the 12359 publications of Tunisia are done with French scientists as shown in Fig. 7. However, there are significantly lesser collaborations even with more or similarly important countries from Western Europe like Germany and United Kingdom(Scimago Lab, 2015).This excess of collaboration with France is limiting the impact of Tunisian works done through international collaboration due to the considerable limited audience of the French Research output even if the collaboration with this important developed country can contribute to the creation of quality output(Scimago Lab, 2015).

Substituting or associating a part of the collaboration with French Universities as well as the collaboration with Middle East and North Africa with a collaboration with leading universities from United States, Japan, China and Germany will provide Tunisian output with more audience and then with more citations.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 7: Distribution of international collaborations according to countries.Author’s own figure, source: cf. “Methods”

Methods:

The ranking of Tunisian Scientists is done using Google Scholar and Google Scholar Name Disambiguation as of 01 November 2015. Scientists are ranked according to their h-index and Scientists with the same h-index are classified according to their Google Scholar Since 2010 Hirsch Index. As for the Data about the publications of Tunisian Universities in indexed journals and conferences in Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, it is providedusing the Web of Science Core Collection Database and Web of Science Website as provided by Thomson Reuters IP and Science in 15 November 2015.

Conclusion:

Tunisian Universities should ameliorate their choice of international collaborations in Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics and by that adjust significantly the quality of their ideas and fields of research(Katz & Martin, 1997) in order to ameliorate their research performances and reputation as well as the performances of their affiliated professors.

Acknowledgements:

I thank Jamal El Ouahi for helpful discussions and comments. I have also to thank CNUDST for providing to me free access to Thomson Reuters Web of Science Database.

References:

Aguillo, I. (2015). Ranking of scientists in Turkish Institutions according to their Google Scholar Citations public profiles. Retrieved from Webometrics: http://www.webometrics.info/en/node/72

Ben Abdelaziz, A., Abdelali, M., & Khmakhem, A. (2007). Profil bibliométrique des publications médicales tunisiennes indexées dans «medline»» de 2000 à 2003 Partie 3: Rayonnement international. Tunisie médicale, 85 (2), 96-101.

El Ouahi, J. (2014). Résumé des principaux indicateurs de performance de la recherche en Tunisie. Thomson Reuters.

Frame, J. D. (1980). Measuring scientific activity in lesser developed countries. Scientometrics, 2 (2), 133-145.

Hammouti, B. (2010). Comparative bibliometric study of the scientific production in Maghreb countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) in 1996-2009 using Scopus. Journal of Materials & Environmental Science, 1 (2), 70-77.

Katz, J. S., & Martin, B. R. (1997). What is research collaboration? Research policy, 26 (1), 1-18.

Scimago Lab. (2015). Country Rankings in Engineering. Retrieved from SJR: http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php?area=2200&category=0&region=all&year=all&order=ci&min=0&min_type=it

Thomson Reuters. (2015). Retrieved from 2015 ISI Highly Cited: http://highlycited.com/

Turki, H., & Turki, M. (2014). Ranking of Tunisian Scientists According to Their Efficient Productivity. An Overview of Scientific Research Output in Tunisia. Munich, Germany: GRIN Verlag.

Zhou, P., Thijs, B., & Glänzel, W. (2008). Is China also becoming a giant in social sciences? Scientometrics, 79 (3), 593-621.

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Details

Title
Leading Tunisian scientists in Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. An Overview
Author
Year
2015
Pages
10
Catalog Number
V310961
ISBN (Book)
9783668097162
File size
745 KB
Language
English
Tags
tunisia, scientists, hirsch index, ranking, productivity
Quote paper
Houcemeddine Turki (Author), 2015, Leading Tunisian scientists in Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. An Overview, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/310961

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