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14 Aug 2020 | China

Increasing impact through publications

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Promoting female authorship and science quality

Increasing impact through publications

The pivots we took institutionally towards more publishing in scientific journals and towards supporting our women colleagues in authoring as first authors have paid off most clearly in this past year. From 2009 to 2019, we averaged 51 peer reviewed journal articles per year. In 2019, we had a historical high number of 121 peer reviewed publications, and a record high number of journal articles with female authors — they contributed to 51 peer-reviewed journal articles, 17 of them as first authors. Six of our articles were in the high impact factor Nature and its associated journals, with 2 female contributors. Both for external publications in peer-reviewed academic journals and for our own ICIMOD publications, the numbers of publications featuring gender issues has also risen steadily. Twelve of our journal articles this year were in publications that have impact factors higher than 5, so as we increase volume we have also been increasing the scientific rigour of these external publications. While our scientific publications on glacier-related issues have long been a strength for us, we have also published on a broad range of water-related issues such as springs and springshed management as well as integrated river basin management and also biodiversity, climate change, adaptation and disaster risk reduction. This depth and breadth of scientific expertise and academic networks positioned us perfectly as the convener and facilitator of the HKH Assessment process which resulted in the significant publication, the HKH Assessment. The assessment to date has over 580,000 downloads.

Increasing impact through publications

We remain committed to providing our research, data and publications to the public through open access publishing and have worked to streamline holdings in our HimalDoc online digital repository. We continuously seek to enhance our HimalDoc repository and ensure that it contains the most significant publications related to the HKH across all relevant topic areas supplementing our own open access publications. During key years 2013 and 2016, the number of digital downloads tripled and doubled, respectively. Digital distribution was significantly aided by the 2010 launch of our HimalDoc digital repository and in light of our Board of Governors’ approval of our policy to produce all of our own knowledge products as fully open access.


We’ve sought to ensure that HimalDoc is vibrantly responsive to changing information possibilities and needs and to that end, have undertaken a fundamental overhaul of the front and backend of the repository to improve accessibility and leverage the design to integrate with the range of new social media and metrics platforms. We also supplement HimalDoc it with other archives such as our abundant archive of publically accessible photos and the rich resource of our Regional Database System archive for open data.

Through its scientific achievements, ICIMOD staff are connected to a global network of researchers on a range of issues. We have contributed significantly to IPCCC and IPBES reports with authors and reviewers. Our Director General is its Editor-in-Chief of the leading international scientific journal specifically devoted to sustainable development in the world’s mountains, Mountain Research and Development and our Deputy Director General serves on the International Mountain Society Board of Directors.

The pivots we took institutionally towards more publishing in scientific journals and towards supporting our women colleagues in authoring as first authors have paid off most clearly in this past year.

Chapter 2

Knowledge generation and use

Science-based regional collaboration through the Upper Indus network 

Members are presently working on basin level issues focusing on climate change and resilience

Yak as a landscape connector

Regional cooperation on yak conservation benefits forged through events and networks in the Kanchenjunga Landscape

Augmenting free access to scientific data

An application enables better data visualization of and access to ICIMOD data from the HKH

Mapping land cover

High-resolution annual land cover data for the HKH region