Chilean universities set the pace for research in Latin America

The 2012 Scimago Institutions Ranking places Chile’s educational institutions among the best in Ibero-America, with a high level of citations in respected journals.  

The Scimago Institution’s (SI) Ibero-American Ranking SIR 2012 have confirmed that Chile’s universities are among the best in Ibero-America, excelling in high level research.
Conducted by the respected Spain-based research organization, the study found that Chilean researchers are distinguished by their productivity – publishing double or triple that of their Argentine, Brazilian or Mexican counterparts.
Of the thousands of universities evaluated across Spain, Portugal and Latin America, four Chilean universities stood out: Universidad de Chile, Universidad Católica, Universidad de Concepción and Universidad de Santiago.
“Chilean publications are the most cited in all of Latin America,” Miguel O’Ryan, vice dean of Research and Development at the Universidad de Chile told La Tercera. The public institute earned the highest rank in the country, as well as the tenth highest in Latin America and 21st in Ibero-America.
“They also surpassed those of China and India, coming to the level of Japan and Korea,” O’Ryan said. “Comparatively, the Chilean scientific community is the most productive and efficient on the continent and its work reaches the highest level of prestige and international acclaim.”
The SI rankings are based primarily on the number of total publications indexed in the Scopus database for academic journal articles that have been published over the last five years.
“This is very objective indicator of scientific productivity,” said Juan Larraín, Vice Dean of Research at the Universidad Católica. “In relation to the size of our academic community, and the funds that we have available to research, compared with countries like Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, we are very satisfied with our achievement as universities and also as a country.”
Universidad Católica, the second-highest ranked Chilean university, came in at 14th in Latin America and 32nd in Ibero-America.
The third-highest ranked university in Chile was the Universidad de Concepción, which placed 28th in Latin America and 61st including Portugal and Spain.
Mauricio Escudey, Vice Dean of Research and Development at the Universidad de Santiago, pointed out that in addition to a having a high number of published articles, Chilean universities were having their articles published by the world’s top periodicals.
For the first time this year, the SI rankings included an Excellence Ratio, which measured the percentage of an institution’s articles published by the leading periodicals in the field of research.
“Here, the standout performers are the Chilean universities,” said Escudey. “For example, Usach (Universidad de Santiago) scored a 9.9 percent, which puts it alongside the Universidad de Chile as the highest in Latin America. This shows that, while Chile is quantitatively a small country, the research we do is of high quality and is highly significant.”