Published as: Šipka P. (2016) Ten years of growth of Serbian scientific production: But what about its quality? In A. Kostić (Ed.) Nauka: stanje, strategija, perspektive (pp. 33-62). Belgrade: SASA.

Ten years of growth of Serbian scientific production: but what about its quality?

Pero Šipka

Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science, Belgrade

Abstract: Based on the Web of Science, the output of Serbian science in the past ten years is estimated, by comparing it with the output of other European countries. Two basic bibliometric measures, productivity and citation rate, were expressed in several ways, first conventionally and then in a refined form, to make them free from constituents that threaten their validity. Only then it became clear that the scientific productivity of Serbia in the observed period was increasing, but also that the change cannot be considered as a great improvement, as often represented. It was also shown that the increase in production was achieved at the expense of its quality. The conclusion is based on the observed serious discrepancy between productivity of Serbian authors, which is satisfactory, and citation rate of their papers, which is relatively low. The explanation for this was found in evaluation policy of the national ministry responsible for science that in the past has encouraging publishing in WoS journals, regardless of the quality and legitimacy of published papers. Also observed was and commented favourably a recent turn in this policy, but also warnings were made that it will not give results if not accompanied by systematic quality control, which must include protection from abuses in publishing, as well as their sanctioning. 

Keywords: research output, productivity, citаtion rate, comparative analysis, Serbia, European countries

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