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A Comparative Analysis of Soybean and Pulses

Topic: Report, Policy, Crop

Peer-Reviewed Literature on Grain Legume Species in the WoS (1980–2018): A Comparative Analysis of Soybean and Pulses.

Abstract: Grain-legume crops are important for ensuring the sustainability of agrofood systems. Among them, pulse production is subject to strong lock-in compared to soya, the leading worldwide crop. To unlock the situation and foster more grain-legume crop diversity, scientific research is essential for providing new knowledge that may lead to new development. Our study aimed to evaluate whether research activity on grain-legumes is also locked in favor of soya. Considering more than 80 names grouped into 19 main grain-legume species, we built a dataset of 107,823 scholarly publications (articles, book, and book chapters) between 1980 and 2018 retrieved from the Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) reflecting the research activity on grain-legumes. We delineated 10 scientific themes of interest running the gamut of agrofood research (e.g., genetics, agronomy, and nutrition). We indexed grain-legume species, calculated the percentage of records for each one, and conducted several analyses longitudinally and by country. Globally, we found an unbalanced research output: soya remains the main crop studied, even in the promising field of food sciences advanced by FAO as the “future of pulses”. Our results raise questions about how to align research priorities with societal demand for more crop diversity.

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