AsianScientist (May 28, 2012) – China is fast becoming a global leader in scientific publishing and scientific research, according to the Nature Publishing Index 2011 China published last week.
Papers with authors from China represent 6.6 percent (225) of the 3,425 papers published in Nature journals in 2011, up from 5.3 percent (152 papers) in 2010. By comparison, authors from China published just 12 papers in Nature journals in 2000.
The Nature Publishing Index 2011 China also presents a new analysis of ISI Web of Knowledge data, showing that China now publishes more than ten percent of the world’s most cited scientific research. China increased its share of the top one percent of highly cited scientific articles from 1.85 percent (127 out of 6,874 articles) in 2001 to 11.3 percent (1,158 out of 10,238 articles) in 2011, and now ranks fourth globally.
By 2014, China could surpass Germany and the United Kingdom, who currently hold second and third places, says Felix Cheung, Editor of Nature China and of the supplement.
The United States, which leads the world, has conversely seen its share of highly influential research drop from 64.3 percent (4,420 out of 6,874 articles) in 2001 to 50.7 percent (5,190 out of 10,238 articles) in 2011.
The top ten Chinese institutions of 2011 are: the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Peking University, Tsinghua University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Xiamen University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), the University of Hong Kong (HKU), Nanjing University, and BGI Shenzhen.
CAS has an impressive lead, publishing 62 articles in Nature-branded primary research journals in 2011, which is perhaps not surprising given it has over 100 institutes and close to 50,000 researchers. Among the universities, USTC came out number one.
“People generally consider Peking and Tsinghua University as the ‘big two’ in China,” says Cheung. “Although the USTC has yet to earn the same level of fame as Peking and Tsinghua University, the reality is that all three institutions are in the same league when it comes to publishing high-quality research.”
The Nature Publishing Index 2011 China supplement also presents a ranking by city. The top ten Chinese cities of 2011 for high-quality basic research are: Beijing, Shanghai, Hefei, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Wuhan, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Xi’an.
Some caveats exist with the Index: the output of research articles measured are limited to those published in the Nature Publishing Group family of journals.
The Index also does not weight multiple factors in the way that other rankings do, such as the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities or the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Lastly, the output of an institution or country depends on its size; larger institutions have very large numbers of researchers that help drive up their rankings.
Source: NPG; Photo: Hefei Municipal Tourism Administration.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.
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