Global Data Report Reveals a Redirection of Research Towards the UN's Shared Sustainable Development Goals
Web of Science data show the dominance of European research and dual focus of environment and health studies
LONDON, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report released today by the Institute for Scientific Information, part of the Web of Science Group at Clarivate Analytics, reveals how global research and discovery is evolving to address poverty, reduce inequality and deal with the effects of climate change via the UN Sustainable Development Goals* (SDGs).
The report, Navigating the Structure of Research on Sustainable Development Goals provides a unique top-down view on the progress being made via global research activity that's driving progress towards the 17 global sustainable goals adopted by its members. It combines high quality, unbiased data from within the Web of Science citation index with the skilled analysis of the Institute for Scientific Information to inform the work of policymakers, including governments, funders and NGOs.
The data show that there is a dual focus across the research landscape, with the majority of papers published in Environment, Agricultural and Sustainability Science or Health and Healthcare. Many small research areas, such as Water Supply and Sanitation, join the two large domains. These transdisciplinary topics are often of policy interest because they represent opportunities to leverage knowledge in one area that can be applied in another.
David Pendlebury, Head of Research Analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information says: "The UN Sustainable Development Goals represent some of the biggest challenges humanity faces, from ending poverty to dealing with the effects of climate change, aiming to transform the world in just fifteen years.
"We have used the data in the Web of Science to confirm that research is being redirected towards these shared goals and identified key themes in global research and discovery. Our analysis will be of interest to policymakers and funders alike in supporting evidence-based decision making."
Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, University of Toronto and Aga Khan University, and 2018 Highly Cited Researcher in Clinical Medicine said: "Academicians and researchers have a special role in advocating for evidence-based strategies and research to help address the aspirational, yet attainable Sustainable Development Goals. This report is an important benchmark in this process."