Areas and Scientific Outputs

CSIC is the research organization in Spain with the greatest multidisciplinary potential. CSIC manages to undertake challenges that are not available to other institutions, both for its size (more than 11,000 people) and for its distribution (it is present in almost all the Spanish Autonomous Communities).

Global Areas

Research in CSIC extends in three Global Areas: Society (S), Life (V) and Materia (M), and four connection axes of between them (SV, SM, VM, SVM), which allow to address interdisciplinary research, initiatives of excellence and knowledge transfer, and tackle frontier issues in virtually all areas of knowledge.

The synergy between the different centers and institutes, through the research groups, allows CSIC to participate in new challenges and makes it a key player in international research with a recognized innovative character. The 120 institutes carry out basic and applied research at the service of the society focused on pioneering scientific developments. The Interdisciplinary Thematic Platforms (PTIs) oriented to the resolution of great global challenges with high social and scientific impact, represent the CSIC new initiatives to exploit the capacity between the global areas and research groups working together and in coordination, as well as to promote proposals led by young researchers.

Scientific outputs

CSIC leads the scientific production in Spain, with an annual average of 13,000 publications in internationally renowned scientific journals with a very high percentage of publications in frontline journals (more than 70% of the total published articles correspond to high-profile articles impact, Q1). Many of these articles are among the most cited publications in the corresponding field. The qualification of the research and research support staff of CSIC stands out nationally and internationally, as evidenced by its leadership in multiple national and international projects and consortiums, as well as in the activities of technology transfer and scientific culture. This entails a very high level of professional demand, accompanied in addition to a culture of achievements assessment, which is reflected in the high level scientific performance of CSIC.

The quality of the research carried out in the institutes must meet the CSIC criteria of excellence. To ensure this, research activities carried out in centers and institutes and research groups are subject to periodic quality evaluations. The evaluation of this activity is carried out using the information registered by researchers and centers in the CSIC CONCIENCIA database and validated and reviewed by the staff of the Scientific Information Unit (UCIEN). The information of the scientific production contained in this database has multiple uses, including: determining the outputs by objectives (PCO); provide the data and statistics that appear in the CSIC Annual Report, which in turn are used to determine the CSIC objectives; is the source of information for the applications of Research Groups and Personal Information; and transfer a part of its records to the institutional repository (Digital CSIC). The evaluation of articles in scientific journals is carried out based on the impact that each journal has on Scopus, WOS and in some cases CIRC indexes.


Total publications5.7956.3437.4068.19811.00811.88614.06315.02115.61814.68314.72613.85413.95113.48213.590
High impact3.7154.0914.7285.2605.4415.9436.7277.6898.5168.11710.0919.96411.03310.28110.386
Medium impact1.3651.4341.7531.8962.0782.0762.4582.3272.5872.7601.7451.5639441.8462.068
Low impact7148189251.0423.4893.8674.8785.0054.5153.8062.8902.32719.741.3551.136

Evolution of the number of articles published by CSIC researchers (2004-2018)

The number publications is shown accordingly to the impact factor of the publishing journal. 

Origin of the data: 

  • The information prior to 2013 comes from the figure used in the previous CSIC Action Plan 2014 - 2017. These aforemention figure gathers those data collected both in the previous CSIC Action Plans and in the application for the evaluation of PCO (Production by objectives). 
  • The data corresponding to the period 2013-2018 have been obtained from the application for the evaluation of PCO using the publication indicator, breaking it out by impact.  
  • The data correspond to the total sum of each impact value (articles and book chapters). 
  • Low impact refers to activities with low impact and those without an impact assigned.
  • Until 2017, the impacts were::
    • Q1=High
    • Q2=Medium
    • Q3+Q4=Low
  • Since 2017, the impacts are:​​​​​​​
    • Q1=High
    • Q2+Q3=Medium
    • Q4=Low

More about research

Institutos, centros y unidades
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