the filler icon

In the spirit of the International Year of Chemistry, I tried to crunch some numbers about some chemistry-related things  from the Islands.

You might be asking why I ranked Philippine universities’ chemistry research. The inspiration came from a Facebook ‘discussion’ from a chemist friend’s status about PACSiklaban (the biggest annual intercollegiate chemistry quiz competition in the Islands).  One comment says, “Well they  (the UP system) are more theoretical but then again most of them CANNOT use theories to explain research results.”  Which triggers the question – Which university has the most published research?

But then again, “What good does it have if you have a lot of publications but the contents are a load of sh*t because there are no new insights or that they are forcing experiments to follow theories without even troubleshooting?”

And so I did my assignment and look at citation numbers.

The method

I looked at published chemistry journal articles from 2000 – 2010 at the Web of Science of Thomson Reuters.  My logic is that a research that is neither communicated nor scrutinized by peers is a no research.  I looked at the citations for each journal article.  I have to admit that I am too lazy to take note of self-citations.  I grouped the journals based on the university address.  Finally, I calculated the number of citations per publications for each university.  By looking at the number of citations per publication, I can somehow answer the concern if the publications are good or are not good.  I didn’t correct for bias for older publications.

The results

by category (click image for a larger view)

There are 181 Chemistry papers from the Islands from 2000 to 2010.  I have shown the breakdown of Chemistry/Chemistry related articles in the figure at the right.

Most of the papers fall into Medicinal, Applied, Analytical, and Pharmacological Chemistry.  These categories are non-exclusive as one journal article could be in multiple categories.

UP Diliman has the most number of publications but I ranked based on number of citations/publication.

Here is the ranking:

10.  Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology

  • # of publications: 7
  • # of citations: 11
  • # of citations/publication: 1.57

9.  Mapua Institute of  Technology, Manila

  • # of publications: 20
  • # of citations: 40
  • # of citations/publication: 2.00

8. University of San Carlos, Cebu

  • # of publications: 3
  • # of citations: 9
  • # of citations/publication: 3.00

7. De La Salle University, Manila

  • # of publications: 38
  • # of citations: 138
  • # of citations/publication: 3.63

6. Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City

  • # of publications: 7
  • # of citations: 27
  • # of citations/publication: 3.86

These # of citations/ publications are calculated for a ten year stretch.  The number such as the Ateneo’s 3.86 would mean that in that span of ten years the papers were more likely NOT cited than cited.

Looking at the data I have, I would not be surprised if Mapua will be 6th in 2-3 years time as they have many relatively new publications. Ateneo on the other hand, will most likely fall from its ranking because there is a few (or none) new publications.  This is the publication’s age bias which I did not correct. De La Salle will probably keep its ranking.

The papers from universities below were more likely cited than not cited.  If one just looks at the number, there is a jump in the value of the # of citations/publications going from ranked #6 to #5.  So I could say that the top 5 are really a cut from the rest.

5. University of the Philippines Los Banos

  • # of publications: 16
  • # of citations: 104
  • # of citations/publication: 6.50
  • Leading Institute/Department: Institute of Plant Breeding

4. University of the Philippines Manila

  • # of publications: 17
  • # of citations: 136
  • # of citations/publication: 8.00
  • Leading Institute/Department: Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics, College of Pharmacy, Institute of Child Health & Human Development

3. University of the Philippines Diliman

  • # of publications: 51
  • # of citations: 414
  • # of citations/publication: 8.12
  • Leading Institute/Department:  Marine Science Institute, Institute of Chemistry

2. Central Luzon State University, Nueva Ecija

  • # of publications: 2
  • # of citations: 20
  • # of citations/publication: 10
  • Leading Institute/Department: Freshwater Aquaculture Center

1. University of SantoTomas, Manila

  • # of publications: 19
  • # of citations: 198
  • # of citations/publication: 10.42
  • Leading Institute/Department: Research Center for the Natural Sciences

To gain perspective about the # of citations/publication value, let me compare it to impact factors of some chemistry journals.  Impact factors are calculated based on a two year data of the number of citations per publication of a certain journal.  Here are some impact factors: Nature Material 29.504; Nano Letters  9.991; Journal of Amereical Chemical Society 8.580;  and Chemical Communications 5.504.

Even UST’s # of citations/publication is way below these impact factors.  However, a citation per publication a year is not that bad.


A filler article means that I did not have the time to write during the weekends and hence, my next blog post would probably be next week.  I had too many things to do.