Determinants of citation impact: A comparative analysis of the Global South versus the Global North

Hugo Confraria, Manuel Mira Godinho & Lili Wang


The impact of the scientific output produced by different nations in different fields varies extensively. In this article, we apply bibliometric and econometric analysis to identify which countries are producing research with relatively higher scientific influence, and to understand what factors lead to higher citation impact. We focus specifically on the Global South because countries in this group are starting to converge in terms of output with the Global North. We find that previous citation impact, level of international collaboration and total publications in a specific scientific field are important determinants of citation impact among all nations. Yet, specialisation in particular scientific fields seems significantly more important in the Global South than in the Global North. We propose possible explanations for the patterns found and derive some policy implications.

Key words: Science, Global South, Development, Research policy, Bibliometrics, Scientific impact, Citation impact.

JEL Classification: O38, O39, O57

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