Contemporary Cuban Physics Through Scientific Publications: An Insider’s View
In a previous paper, the author reached some conclusions on the tendencies of the publications by Cuban physicists in international journals (Altshuler, Rev Cub Fís 22(2):173–182, 2005) and called for a systematic bibliometric study of the subject. Such a study has now been undertaken (a contribution to this volume entitled “Physics in Cuba from the Perspective of Bibliometrics” by Werner Marx and Manuel Cardona, referred to in this paper as Marx and Cardona) and supports the main conclusions of the former work. The scenario of Cuban physics since 1995 has been conditioned by two main facts interacting in a nontrivial way: the serious material shortages affecting local physics laboratories and bibliographic resources, and an increase in the country’s international collaboration. As a positive result, the total volume of Cuban publications in international physics journals has increased since 1995, perhaps reaching a peak around the year 2000, while the number of citations of Cuban papers and the impact of the journals in which they were published have continued to increase since the mid–1990s. Theoretical work produced by physicists from a number of Cuban institutions in international collaborations strongly contribute to those numbers. In the last years, international publications suggest a ‘self-organized’ opening of Cuban physics towards interdisciplinary subjects, which is increasing the ‘bibliometric visibility’ of autochthonous experimental work.
KeywordsPhysical Review Letter Brain Drain American Physical Society International Impact Foreign Institution
I thank the “Abdus Salam” ICTP for supporting the writing of the first version of this manuscript. M. Sánchez-Colina and A. Baracca must be acknowledged for encouraging me to write this paper and for the revision of the manuscript, and C. Trallero-Giner, for sending me an earlier version of Marx and Cardona’s paper.
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