Digital Science has today released a new report highlighting the growth in research around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report Contextualizing Sustainable Development Researchwhich was produced by Digital Science’s Consultancy Group led by Dr Juergen Wastl, looks at the state of the world’s research on the UN’s SDG’s. It finds that more than 500,000 publications were published in 2019 relating to the 17 SDGs, constituting around 10 percent of the world’s total research output. This is three times the percentage produced in 2000 when the UN introduced the Millenium Development Goals, the predecessors of the SDGs.

Digital Science’s Consultancy group used the Dimensions platform to analyse research data on the SDGs.

The key findings include:

  • 10% of global research output now relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • While the US remains the top producer of SDG research, China’s research footprint has grown rapidly and it is now the second largest SDG-research power.
  • India has grown quickly in SDG research, overtaking all the traditionally developed research economies in Europe. It is now in fourth place globally behind the US, China and the UK in SDG research volume.
  • The UK has a more well-rounded or evenly distributed footprint, reminiscent of a larger and more diversified research economy such as the US.

Daniel Hook, CEO of Digital Science and one of the co-authors of the report, said:

“The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals call on the world’s leaders to look beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in their decision-making processes. As we have demonstrated in our report, Dimensions can support all stakeholders across the international research ecosystem and challenges them to embrace a broader range of research information in their decision making processes.”

See the press release here