North-South BioDiscovery Research Collaboration of Indonesian Sponge and Soft Coral : A Bibliographic Analysis of Publications Over the Last Two Decades
Context: The tropical Indonesian sponges and soft corals species are valuable resources that produce bioactive chemical compounds. However, BioDiscovery on those compounds requires adequate budget, modern laboratory, and skilful researchers. To foster capacity building, international collaborations with developed countries researchers have been conducted by various Indonesian institutions. In return, developed countries researchers were granted access to the tropical biodiversity resources. Aims: This study presents evaluation of Indonesian capacity development during international collaborative research on BioDiscovery of natural products from Indonesian sponges and soft corals over the last two decades. Methods and Material: Valuation had been done by bibliometric analysis, based on the authorship of Indonesian researchers in publications at major international journals on the theme of natural products BioDiscovery. Results: The study showed there were 104 publications between the year of 1994 to 2015 that reported 328 new compounds from Indonesian sponges and soft corals. Among those works, Indonesian researchers contributed as an author in 49% publications. However, the role as a principal researcher (1st author) was low (14%). Furthermore, unequal benefit sharing of research results showed, as roughly 40% of those publications did not include or acknowledge any Indonesian collaborators. All of these reflect unequal benefit sharing, and capacity of Indonesian researchers on this particular field has not been successfully developed as expected. Conclusion: The paradigm of “biodiversity data trade” and “parachute science” needs to be changed. However, it requires government support in biogenetic conservation and material transfer traceability towards equitable benefit sharing of BioDiscovery research results.