, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 125–146 | Cite as

Theoretical high energy physcis in Latin America from 1990 to 2012: a statistical study

  • Gerardo Urrutia Sánchez
  • Lilian Prado
  • Wolfgang BietenholzEmail author


We present a statistical overview of the publications in theoretical high energy physics (HEP), which emerged in Latin America (LA) in the period from 1990 to 2012. Our study captures the eight Latin American nations, which are dominant in this field of research: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay and Cuba. As an intercontinental benchmark, we compare them with India, Canada, South Korea, Belgium and South Africa. We consider the productivity of research papers in specialized high-impact journals, and the corresponding numbers of citations. The goal is to document the efforts in LA to catch up with the most wealthy countries, in a field of research without direct practical benefits. The restriction to theoretical HEP excludes large international collaborations, which enables a fair evaluation of national achievements. We further investigate how these records are correlated with three socio-economic indices: the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Education Index (EI). Despite some progress, there remains a backlog of LA compared to the dominant countries, which cannot be explained solely by economic deficiency. In general, a detailed correlation between the socio-economic and scientific evolution is not obvious.


Latin America Theoretical high energy physics Bibliometrics Socioeconomic indicators 



We thank Magdalena Sierra for technical assistance, and the reviewers for attracting our attention to a number of relevant references. This work was supported by the Mexican Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) through project CB-2010/155905, and by DGAPA-UNAM, through grant IN107915 and through the program PASPA-DGAPA.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Ciencias NuclearesUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCiudad de MéxicoMexico
  2. 2.Instituto de AstronomíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCiudad de MéxicoMexico

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