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    Estimating the Scientific Research Output in Central Asia: Results, Challenges, Solutions

    Central Asia is often regarded as a region that is underrepresented in global science and technology. Despite significant progress made in the last decade, Central Asian countries continue to face challenges in terms of generating and disseminating scientific knowledge. In this article, we aim to examine the current state of scientific research output in Central Asia, identify challenges faced by the region and provide solutions to overcome them.

    1 Current State of Scientific Research Output in Central Asia

    Central Asia is composed of five countries that span across Eurasia: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. These countries have a total population of over 75 million people and a land area of 4 million square kilometers. Although these countries have a rich history of scientific and mathematical achievements, science and technology in the region have been underdeveloped since the fall of the Soviet Union.
    Despite this, the scientific research output in the region has increased significantly in recent years. According to the World Bank, the number of scientific publications from Central Asia increased from 911 in 2008 to 5,501 in 2017 (World Bank, 2018). Kazakhstan leads the region in terms of scientific output, followed by Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. However, the share of Central Asia in global scientific publications is still low, accounting for only 0.3% of the total in 2017 (World Bank, 2018).

    2 Challenges Faced by Central Asia in Scientific Research Output

    Central Asian countries face several challenges when it comes to scientific research output. One of the primary challenges is funding. The majority of scientific research in the region is publicly funded, and governments in the region generally allocate a low percentage of their budget to research and development. Additionally, limited funding opportunities make it difficult for researchers to compete with researchers from other countries in the region.

    Another challenge is infrastructure. Central Asia lacks adequate research infrastructure, including research facilities, equipment, and technology. Many research centers lack basic equipment, and researchers often lack access to innovative technologies and databases. This lack of infrastructure hinders the capacity of Central Asian researchers to conduct high-quality research.

    Additionally, there is a lack of domestic collaboration among researchers in Central Asia. Researchers often lack opportunities to collaborate with colleagues within their institutions or across borders, leading to the duplication of research, wasted resources, and less impactful research outcomes. Language barriers are also a significant challenge within the region, making it difficult to publish research and collaborate with researchers in other countries.

    3 Solutions to Improve Scientific Research Output in Central Asia

    To address the challenges faced by Central Asia in scientific research output, several solutions can be implemented. The first solution is to increase funding for research and development. Governments in the region should consider allocating a higher percentage of their budgets to research and development, and implement research funding programs that foster innovation and competition, more effectively leveraging private sector investment.

    Second, infrastructure can be improved by investing in research facilities, equipment, and technology. Governments need to prioritize improving research infrastructure to provide researchers with the tools and resources necessary to conduct high-quality research. Partnerships with international research institutions and private sector will be important to ensure that the most innovative equipment and process technologies are available locally.

    Another solution is to promote collaboration among researchers in Central Asia. Governments and research institutions need to establish programs that support domestic collaboration between researchers as well as cross-border collaborations with researchers in other countries. Establishing platforms to promote communication concerning joint efforts in research and development among diverse stakeholders such as researchers, government, and private sector.


    Central Asia has made significant progress in scientific research output in recent years, but challenges persist. The lack of funding, infrastructure, and domestic collaboration among researchers are significant challenges which hinder the progress of science and technology in this region. To address these challenges, governments in Central Asia must increase funding, improve infrastructure, and promote collaboration. By doing so, they can develop a vibrant scientific community to advance research and development, leading to new discoveries, exciting innovations, and positive implications for the economic growth and development of the region.

    Overall, the answers to the challenges confronting the Central Asian scientific and research sphere lie within cooperation of all elements of the society-governments, researchers, private sectors, and people-to build a sustainable future in the regional scientific landscape.


    World Bank. (2018). Central Asia’s Contribution to Global Science. Retrieved from