Mapping Ethnobotany research in India


  • Manohar Pathak Directorate of Education, GNCT, Delhi
  • Kumar Avinash Bharati


Bibliometrics. Ethnobotany. Scientific output. Research trends


Background: Ethnobotany is the study of the plants used by aboriginal people. It has significant contributions in bioprospecting, drug development and management of natural resources and cultural diversity. Diversity of plants and tribes makes India an ideal place for ethnobotanical research. Therefore, mapping of scholarly publication was conducted on various scientometric indicators to identify the research trends on ethnobotany in India.

Methods: Data for this study were retrieved from Web of Science Core collection database of Clarivate analytics (erstwhile Thomson Reuters), Philadelphia, USA up to year 2018.

Results: The first research paper in SCI journal was published in 1974, and during 1974 to 2018, a total of 2123 papers have been published. The publication trends may be divided in between three phases: first phase was 22 years long (1974–1996) with yearly publications in single digit; second phase was for 10 years (1997– 2006) demarked by publications in double digits; third phase was initiated in 2007 producing yearly publications in three digits. These 2123 papers have been contributed by 5458 authors, affiliated to 1927 organizations. Of these, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (207 records, 3960 citations) is leading in the list of contributing organizations and S. Ignacimuthu (30 records and 1,163 citations) is the most productive author. Analysis of international collaboration revealed that Indian researchers are in collaboration with 79 different countries among which USA (4.8% papers) was major collaborating country. A total of 105 tribes of India have been studied and maximum records were available for Adi tribe (17 publications). The most preferred journal was Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge and the top cited article was on antidiabetic plants published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2002.

Conclusions: The ethnobotany research in India is increasing despite of emergence of new research areas and depletion of traditional knowledge. The present study will provide a platform for future studies and strengthening the ethnobotanical research in India.

Keywords: Bibliometrics, Ethnobotany, Scientific output, Research trends

Author Biography

Kumar Avinash Bharati

Research Associate,

Raw Materials Herbarium & Museum Delhi,

CSIR- National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), Dr. K. S. Krishnan Marg, New Delhi- 110012




How to Cite

Pathak, M., & Bharati, K. A. (2020). Mapping Ethnobotany research in India. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 20, 1–12. Retrieved from