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Top Norwegian university for Arctic research impact

The University of Bergen is the Norwegian university with the biggest impact in Arctic research, and is the seventh most cited university in the world in this field, according to a new study.

Snowmobile on Svalbard
EXCELLING IN THE ARCTIC: The University of Bergen is one of the universities with the highest citation impact within Arctic research and most cited in Norway.
Photo:
Kim E. Andreassen, University of Bergen

Arctic research performed by researchers from the University of Bergen (UiB) has a major impact on a world basis. Its researchers are the seventh most cited among the 170 largest research institutions performing Arctic research.

Other Norwegian universities and institutions are placed at 14 (University of Oslo), 19 (Norwegian Polar Institute) and 23 (University of Tromsø) respectively.

“This study show that we are the top university in Norway in this field, as well as excelling internationally regarding research impact. Citations are an objective indicator, and we are proud to do well on this count,” says Rector of UiB, Dag Rune Olsen.

“Arctic research is in the spotlight right now. The number of published articles is on the increase, both at UiB, in Norway and internationally,” says Øyvind Paasche, project manager of Bergen Marine Research Cluster.

The study places UiB as the number 13 most productive Arctic research institution world-wide. Between 2011 and 2015, UiB researchers published about 600 research articles in this field.

The study is published by the University of the Arctic (UArctic), a research network with members from 170 universities and research institutions. All members are active in the fields of Arctic research or education. The study finds its data in Scopus, a bibliographic database containing abstracts and citations for academic journal articles.

Success through collaborations and climate research

Professor Jostein Bakke at the Department of Earth Science, UiB, is of the opinion that collaborations are the key to UiB’s Arctic success.

“Norway is a small country, and field work and research explorations are expensive. Our researchers are aware of collaborations as a tool to reach our goals, and working with others make us all excel,” says Bakke.

Bakke is head of the project iEarth, which aims to ally the biggest Norwegian actors in earth science education. The project is one of nine finalists competing for the status as Centre for Excellence in Education.

The professor also points to climate research at UiB as one of UiB’s success factors.

“There is a strong research environment on climate research at UiB. This research has close ties to the Arctic, which again strengthens Arctic research,” says Bakke.

Making success known

“We know Arctic research is attracting more interest internationally, in part because of its geopolitical implications. The rising number of research publications shows that the growth potential is considerable. UiB aims to make use of these possibilities in the years to come,” Rector Olsen says.

Bakke and Paasche both believe the Arctic research has the potential to grow. One way of ensuring growth is making the quality of research more visible, according to Paasche.

“We are a mid-size university, yet our productivity and research quality is immense. That is something we should aim to make clearer and more visible,” he says.

Stronger international collaborations

Strengthening international collaborations is another way to improve, thinks Bakke.

“Our participation in international networks is good today, but I think we should aim to take leadership of some of them. Additionally, we ought to increase our participation in EU-supported research projects,” Bakke says.

The professor is one of 180 members of the Polar Science Network at UiB. The network is a common platform for presentation of research and an arena for interdisciplinary collaboration.

”One of our goals is to make it known that UiB is a major player in Polar research. We also wish to promote collaboration, as a meeting place between researchers from several disciplines,” says Bakke.