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Nature: China May Soon Surpass Japan In R&D Publication Output

China may soon surpass Japan as the Asia-Pacific leader in research output, says a new report published today by the Nature Publishing Group.

| March 21, 2013 | Academia

AsianScientist (Mar. 21, 2013) – China may soon surpass Japan as the Asia-Pacific leader in research output, says a new report by the Nature Publishing Group.

The Nature Publishing Index 2012 Asia-Pacific, released today as a supplement to Nature, revealed that the top institution in the region in 2012 was The University of Tokyo, while 80 of the top 200 research institutions in the region – and six out of the top ten – are in Japan. The top four institutions have also not changed from 2011: Kyoto University, RIKEN, and Osaka University make up the top four with The University of Tokyo.

But the Japanese university will almost certainly lose its crown to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2013, owing to the Chinese institution’s faster growth on a month by month basis.

In 2012, Japanese authors published 398 articles in Nature research journals compared with China’s 303. Measured by corrected count, which takes into account the relative contribution of individual authors in joint publications, the difference is even more: Japan at 233.87 compared with China at 150.03. Japan’s dominance, however, may not last long: In the past five years China has increased its publication count by 300 percent compared with Japan’s 55 percent.

After Australia in third place, South Korea sits firmly in fourth place with almost double the output of fifth-ranked Singapore. Her newly elected president, Park Geun-hye, plans to make science and technology policy a cornerstone of her government, with a forecasted increase in R&D investment as a proportion of GDP to five percent by 2017

Fifth-ranked Singapore’s science output has grown faster in 2012 than any of the major science-producing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Index. The National University of Singapore (NUS) reached ninth place, up from 16th in 2011. The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) more than doubled its output compared with its 2011 performance, ranking 16th in the region.

This year, Taiwan finished in the sixth spot, ahead of India and New Zealand both of whose output dropped slightly.

The Nature Publishing Index Asia-Pacific measures the output of research articles from nations and institutes published in the 18 Nature-branded primary research journals over the calendar year to provide a snapshot of research in the Asia-Pacific in 2012.

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Source: NPG; Photo: James Willamor/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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