Papers published in Nature journals with Filipino researchers as co-authors

Nature is one of the top-notch interdisciplinary science journals available today. It publishes peer-reviewed research on the basis of its “originality, importance, interdisciplinary interest, timeliness, accessibility, elegance, and surprising conclusions”. With an impact factor of 36.101, it is currently one of the most highly cited science journals.

With the launching of Nature Publishing Index – Asia-Pacific, it is now easier to track research papers published in Nature journals from the Asia-Pacific region. According to the Index’s website, “The Index provides many different options for users to delve into the data: users can analyze data by institution, country, or Nature journals, and can access historical data and graphs.”  It ranks institutions and countries based on the number of papers published in the Nature journals and is updated weekly. See figure below showing the number of articles from the top 5 countries + the Philippines from 2000 to 2010.

Curious if the Philippines makes it to the list, I checked the latest country rankings.   As of Nov. 2, 2011, Japan is on top with 334 papers. It is followed by China with 186 papers, then Australia with 144 papers, and Korea with 71 papers. Completing the top five is Singapore with 49 papers. Surprisingly, the Philippines is currently ranked number 10 with five papers, a huge jump from rank 14 last year with only two papers. The only other year when the Philippines was included in the list was in 2008 when it was also ranked 14th with one paper.

Country rankings. Top five countries + the Philippines (figure from www.natureasia.com)

From the five papers published, 2 papers were co-authored by C. Go from the Physics Department, University of San Carlos, one paper by Nanette R. Lee from the Office of Population Studies Foundation, University of San Carlos, another one by Allan G. Fernando from the National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines-Diliman, and the last one by Yolanda M. Aguilar from Petrolab, Mines and Geosciences Bureau. The papers are listed below:

  • A giant thunderstorm on Saturn, G. Fischer, W. S. Kurth, D. A. Gurnett, P. Zarka, U. A. Dyudina, A. P. Ingersoll, S. P. Ewald, C. C. Porco, A. Wesley, C. Go, and M. Delcroix, Nature 475, 75–77 (07 July 2011) doi:10.1038/nature10205
  • Deep winds beneath Saturn’s upper clouds from a seasonal long-lived planetary-scale storm, A. Sánchez-Lavega, T. del Río-Gaztelurrutia, R. Hueso, et. al, Nature 475, 71–74 (07 July 2011) doi:10.1038/nature10203 (C. Go is one of the co-authors)
  • Genetic variants in novel pathways influence blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk, The International Consortium for Blood Pressure Genome-Wide Association Studies, Nature 478, 103–109 (06 October 2011) doi:10.1038/nature10405 (Nanette R Lee is a member of the consortium)
  • Prevailing oxic environments in the Pacific Ocean during the mid-retaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2, Reishi Takashima, Hiroshi Nishi, Toshiro Yamanaka, Takashige Tomosugi, Allan G. Fernando, Kazushige Tanabe, Kazuyoshi Moriya, Fumihisa Kawabe, and Keiichi Hayashi, Nature Communications 2 article number: 234 (08 March 2011) doi:10.1038/ncomms1233
  • Permanent El Niño during the Pliocene warm period not supported by coral evidence, Tsuyoshi Watanabe, Atsushi Suzuki, Shoshiro Minobe, Tatsunori Kawashima, Koji Kameo, Kayo Minoshima, Yolanda M. Aguilar, Ryoji Wani, Hodaka Kawahata, Kohki Sowa, Takaya Nagai, and Tomoki Kase, Nature 471, 209–211 (10 March 2011) doi:10.1038/nature09777

For sure, Philippine-based researchers still have a long way to go. Although limited in resources (finances, manpower, equipment, etc), Filipinos can still be as productive as those from more technologically advanced countries. As demonstrated by the above researchers, joining an international group in a collaborative research effort can be a way to be a part of something big and significant that is worth a Nature paper.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning. And to our colleagues, congratulations and more power!