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Maps Indian contributions in earth sciences culling the required data from the CD-ROM version of the GeoRef database 1990 , 1992, and 1994 that covered 1272, 784 and 367 Indian contributions respectively. The Indian contributions in the three years accounted respectively 1.91, 1.56 and 1.13 percent of the world's output. Over 99 percent of Indian contributions are in English. Around 70 percent of the Indian contributions are published in India, and the rest in countries like The Netherlands, US, and UK. Among the institutes Geological Survey of India contributes maximum followed by such institutes as Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, National Geophysical Research Institute, Oil and Natural Gas Commission, National Institute of Oceanography, and Indian School of Mines. Among the universities, Banaras, Jadavpur and Roorkee are making good contributions. The cities wherefrom most of the contributions are emanating are Calcutta, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Delhi and Mumbai. Records of the Geological Survey of India and Journal of the Geological Society of India are carrying maximum number of contributions. The analysis shows that India is a major contributor in the fields of igneous and metamorphic petrology, applied geophysics, economic geology and geology of ore deposits, and engineering geology and holds seventh to eleventh rank in the world in these subjects.


The Indian contributions to the earth sciences literature as covered by the GeoRef database during 1990, 1992 and 1994 are 1272, 784 and 367 respectively. The global output in these fields is found to be 66,474 in 1990; 50,118 in 1992 and 31,992 in 1994. This shows downward trend in the output of literature in earth sciences both at Indian and global levels. [Most probably the downward trend is not real and is due to the progressively declining coverage by the database of the world literature in general and Indian literature in particular. - Editor]. Indian contributions are 1.91 per cent of global output in 1990; 1.56 per cent in 1992 and 1.13 per cent in 1994. It is also seen that most of the global output in all the three years is in English language ( 82.18 per cent in 1990, 83.61 per cent in 1992 and 91.73 per cent in 1994). The other languages that contributed substantially are Russian (5.86 per cent), Chinese (3.75 per cent), French (2.80 per cent), German (1.75 per cent) and Japanese (1.61 per cent) in 1990. In the year 1992 Chinese took the second position after English with 3.97 per cent contributions followed by French (3.27 per cent), Russian (3.09 per cent), Japanese (1.99 per cent) and German (1.42 per cent). In the year 1994, Japanese took the second position (2.26 per cent) followed by Russian (1.15 per cent), German (1.15 per cent), French (1.14 per cent) and Chinese (0.91 per cent). As per the language of Indian contributions, over 99 per cent of the contributions in all the these years are in English.

In terms of country of publication of the contributions, it is seen that maximum Indian contributions are published in Indian journals, viz. 71 per cent in 1990. The other countries publishing Indian contributions in 1990 in the descending order are The Netherlands (9.36 per cent), United States (4.09 per cent) and the United Kingdom (3.46 per cent). The trend remained the same in 1992 and 1994 also with, of course, the percentages differing.

Institution-wise contributions

Geological Survey of India (GSI) is found to be the most prolific contributor in all the three years. In 1990 GSI contributed 272 papers followed by Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), (93); National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), (58); National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), (39); Indian School of Mines (ISM), (37); Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotony (BSIP), (34) etc. In 1992, GSI accounted for 192 papers, NGRI took the second position with 40 contributions, followed by University of Roorkee, (29 contributions); NIO (27 contributions); Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), (24 contributions); etc. In 1994, GSI contributed 23 papers, NIO took the second position with 22 contributions followed by ONGC (20), WIHG (18), NGRI (18 contributions), etc. Among the Indian universities Banaras Hindu University (BHU), topped the list with 27 contributions in 1990 followed by Andhra University (AU) School of Chemistry, ((26); Jadavpur University School of Geological Sciences (JUSGS), (23); Roorkee University, (23 contributions), etc. In 1992, Roorkee topped the list with 30 contributions, followed by JUSGS (15), BHU (12), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), (9), Kumaon University, (9 contributions), etc. In 1994, AU took the first position with 10 contributions.

Journal-wise contributions

As mentioned earlier, a large majority of Indian contributions appear in Indian publications. Of the top ten sources publishing Indian contributions, eight are Indian journals and the other two are conference proceedings, namely, International Sedimentological Congress and International Congress - International Association of Engineering Geology. In 1990 and 1992, Records of the Geological Survey of India carried majority of the contributions (152 and 121 respectively) while in 1994 Journal of the Geological Society of India (JGSI) carried the maximum number of contributions (80). This suggests that the contributions of the most prolific institution, i.e., GSI might have got majority of its publications placed in its own journals. The other publications that carried large number of Indian contributions in 1990 are: Abstracts - Indian Geological Congress and National Seminar (131 contributions), JGSI (106 contributions), Special Publication Series - Geological Survey of India (36 contributions), Indian Minerals (IM) (36 contributions), etc. In 1992, the second position went to JGSI with 102 contributions, followed by Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Sciences (JISS) (43 contributions), Special Publication Series - Geological Survey of IndiaIndian Journal of Petroleum GeologyGeoscience Journal (11 contributions), etc. (29 contributions), etc. In 1994 the second position went to International Congress - International Association of Engineering Geology (16 contributions) followed by (13 contributions),

City-wise contributions

Calcutta topped the list as to the number of contributions in 1990 and 1992 (177 and 64 respectively) and Hyderabad led in 1994 (30). In 1990, Hyderabad took the second place (109 contributions) followed by Bangalore (75 contributions), Lucknow (64 contributions), Delhi (44 contributions), Mumbai (31 contributions), etc. In 1992, Lucknow took the second place (53 contributions) closely followed by Hyderabad (51 contributions), then distantly followed by Mumbai (28 contributions), Delhi (25 contributions), etc. In terms of 1994 publications, Hyderabad had the highest number (30 contributions) followed by Calcutta (26 contributions), Delhi (21 contributions), Mumbai (15 contributions), Lucknow (14 contributions), etc. The reason for Calcutta topping could be due to the location of Geological Survey of India there which is the largest organisation in the country working on earth sciences. In addition, Jadavpur University, whose contributions are also significant (23 in 1990 and 15 in 1992) could have contributed to this ranking. Similarly, NGRI whose contributions ranked third (58) in 1990, second (40) in 1992 and Atomic Minerals Division whose contributions are also significant (27 in 1990) and Osmania University (20 in 1990) could have contributed to Hyderabad's second place.

Except for Calcutta and Hyderabad, the institutions/universities which are strong in earth sciences did not make major contributions to the ranking of the respective cities wherein they are located. For example, the total number of contributions from Bangalore was 75 for 1990, 21 for 1992 and 10 for 1993. The institutions/universities known to have strong earth sciences departments in Bangalore are Bangalore University (BU), and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). But BU had only 19 contributions for 1990, two for 1992 and nil for 1994 and the IISc had 13 for 1990, 11 for 1992 and 5 for 1994. Similar is the case with Lucknow and Delhi.

Sub-discipline-wise Contributions

The contents of the GeoRef database are divided into 50 Category Codes (CC). But the Indian contributions published in all the three years of 1990, 1992 and 1992 covered only 38 Category Codes. An analysis of Indian contributions in different sub-disciplines as per the Category Codes shows that Indian contributions of 1990 are maximum (153) on Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology giving India the eighth position in the world after USA (1694), Canada (403), Russia (326), UK (288), Japan (265), China (230), and Germany (169). The next productive field is Applied Geophysics (136) that gives India the seventh rank in the world. The third productive field is found to be Economic Geology and Geology of Ore Deposits with 122 contributions, and rank fifth in the world.

In 1992, Indian contributions are maximum (134) on Engineering Geology and rank sixth in the world after USA (1259), Canada (221), Japan (217), China (211) and UK (175). The next productive field is Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology with 72 contributions and ranks tenth in the world. The third productive field is found to be Applied Geophysics with 61 contributions that gives it the ninth place in the world.

In 1994 publications, Indian contributions were maximum (40) in the area of Applied Geophysics and ranked ninth after USA (777), Canada (186), Japan (94), France (92), UK (90), China (86), Australia (82), and Germany (64). The contributions in Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology and in Geochemistry of Rocks, Soils and Sediments occupied second place, each accounting for 35 contributions and occupying respectively eleventh and tenth position in the world.

The analysis shows that in all the 38 sub-disciplines to which India contributed in the years 1990, 1992 and 1994, the United States was far ahead of all other countries. It can also be seen that even in the sub-discipline of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology where the Indian contribution is highest, India takes only the eighth place in the world. India lags behind China in almost all the sub-disciplines in terms of publications output except for four sub-disciplines in 1990, five sub-disciplines in 1992 and seven sub-disciplines in 1994.


The study reveals that India is a major contributor in the filed of earth sciences and occupies between seventh to tenth position in the world in a number of sub-disciplines. India's closest competitor is found to be China.

* The paper is based on the report prepared under the National Mapping of Science Project. The coverage of Indian literature by Georef database is only partial and continuously declining. Hence, the conclusions drawn on the basis of the Georef data may not always reflect the real Indian scenario. - Editor

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