The rise of Portuguese Antarctic research: implications for Portugal’s status under the Antarctic Treaty
Portugal has developed an active Antarctic programme over the past decade. Here, we examine Portuguese Antarctic activity using a variety of bibliometric measures, showing that Portuguese scientific output has grown substantially faster than the field as a whole, with quality remaining broadly constant. Antarctic science made up a growing percentage of overall Portuguese research, up to 0.14% of all papers in 2016—a level comparable to many other nations with well-established research programmes. Alongside this, Portugal has increasingly engaged in policy discussions and produced policy papers for Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, some of which were based on Portuguese environmental science. The Antarctic Treaty reserves decision-making powers to ‘Consultative Parties’—those who have been recognised as demonstrating substantial research activity in the continent. Our data indicates that Portugal is currently the fourth most productive non-Consultative Party, and has similar or greater output than several Parties who have already attained consultative status—its publication record is similar to that of the Czech Republic, which became a Consultative Party in 2014. The rapid growth of Portugal's Antarctic research may make it well placed to consider attaining consultative status to the Antarctic Treaty in the near future.
Authors: Xavier, Jose C. ORCID record for Jose C. Xavier, Gray, Andrew D. ORCID record for Andrew D. Gray, Hughes, Kevin A. ORCID record for Kevin A. Hughes