A correlation study of sustainable development goal (SDG) interactions

Sheeba Pakkan, Christopher Sudhakar, Shubham Tripathi, Mahabaleshwara Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


As universities are the change agent of society, institutions from all nations set their goals to transform the world by exploring various societal challenges that humans are facing. Together, the higher education systems across the world developing strategies based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The current study aimed to provide policymakers, academics, and researchers an insight on the influence of 16 SDGs on each other paving the way for the universities to set a clear goal in attaining Sustainable Development goals by 2030. To analyze the SDGs’ interactions towards each other, 201,844 research publications from India during five years on 16 SDGs are retrieved from the Scopus database. Spearman Rank Correlation is applied to understand the correlation of each SDG towards one another. We could observe converging results out of the interactions among the SDGs. A significant positive and moderately positive correlation between pairs of SDGs are identified. While a significant number of negative correlations is also classified which need deep thinking among researchers to develop healthy relationships. The most frequent interactions between SDGs is a positive sign for any university in strategizing the goal towards SDGs. The association of all university stakeholders and some constitutional and cultural changes are necessary to put SDGs at the core of the management of the university. Embracing this task by researchers will improve the overall performance of universities. The analysis presented in the present study is useful for academics, governments, funding agencies, researchers, and policy-makers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1956
Number of pages20
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • General Social Sciences


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