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.


  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total publications 5.795 6.343 7.406 8.198 11.008 11.886 14.063 15.021 15.618 14.683 14.726 13.854 13.951 13.482 13.590
High impact 3.715 4.091 4.728 5.260 5.441 5.943 6.727 7.689 8.516 8.117 10.091 9.964 11.033 10.281 10.386
Medium impact 1.365 1.434 1.753 1.896 2.078 2.076 2.458 2.327 2.587 2.760 1.745 1.563 944 1.846 2.068
Low impact 714 818 925 1.042 3.489 3.867 4.878 5.005 4.515 3.806 2.890 2.327 19.74 1.355 1.136

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. 

Producción científica

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

Institutes, Centres, Units


CSIC performs its scientific and technical research activity mainly through its research centers which are organized by departments in which the research groups are integrated.

Research Projects


CSIC scientific and technician staff obtain funds for research projects through competitive public calls from different national and international funding agencies and private entities.

Research Groups


Research groups are a specific fundamental unit with contributes to achieving the scientific objectives of the institution.



Serving CSIC Scientific staff

Women and Science


La vigente Ley de la Ciencia tiene como objetivo general el “promover la inclusión de la perspectiva de género como categoría transversal en la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación, así como una presencia equilibrada de mujeres y hombres en todos los ámbitos del Sistema Español de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación. (art.2 de la Ley 14/2011, de 1 de junio, de la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación)

Associated RDI Units


Among the collaboration possibilities between CSIC and other R&D&I agents, associated units should be mentioned as the formula which makes possible temporary and flexible scientific cooperation between the CSIC research staff and the staff from external institutions included in such units.

Research support infraestructures


Besides the research carried out in CSIC Institutes and Centers, CSIC provides services to the wholw scientific community - national and international- through the management of Research Support Infrastructures.

Catalogue of scientific-technical services


The CSIC, over the lifetime, has provided different scientific and technical services, which has turned some of its centers into referents. In addition to this, its Statute as a State Agency mandates, as one of its main duties the offering of scientific-technical services to the General State Administration as well as to other Public and private Administrations and Institutions.