Analysis of Microplastics research in a developing country : Peru

, Siña Mariella, Liou Sofia.

Microplastics research has increased rapidly in the last decade, last year alone, more than 2700 articles were indexed in Scopus. How much microplastic research is carried out in a developing country like Peru? It's all research done within a developing country noticeable through publications indexed in citation databases? Could language be a barrier or an aid? This is a systematic review of publications indexed until April 2022 at Pubmed, Web of Science and Scopus, compared with articles available at Google scholar. Search terms included were Microplastics + Peru, for english, and Microplásticos + Perú, for Spanish. Studies included were all those which present empirical data from field samples collected within the Peruvian territory. Articles indexed in citation databases are usually recognized as of higher quality, while Google scholar lists scholarly articles published in any website that makes their information available to their search software, for example, national journals and university repositories can make their research public this way. There is extensive research being done at research institutions in Peru that is not indexed in citation databases, but available only in Google Scholar, which shows that there is great interest in microplastics research that is not evident. Moreover, most of the articles and thesis listed in Google scholar were written in Spanish, while the majority of the articles in citation databases are written in English, which may difficult their accessibility to Peruvian students, researchers and policy makers. Following the trend of global microplastics research, the most studied compartments in Peru were marine sediments and marine fish. However, the first study was published in 2017, about 5 years after the microplastics research era started globally. Important research efforts are carried out by national researchers. Quality publications in the local language, Spanish, could bolster these research efforts.

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