China set to become global leader in science publishing, according to Nature index

China set to become global leader in science publishing, according to Nature index

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The Nature Publishing Index 2011 China — a supplement to the 24th May 2012 issue of Nature — provides a detailed assessment of the various research strengths of Chinese institutions and cities based on their output of research articles in Nature-branded primary research journals in 2011 (with 2010 and 2009 data included for comparison). The publication also addresses China’s performance in a regional and global context through the Asia-Pacific rankings and theGlobal rankings.

According to the Nature Publishing Index 2011 China, research articles with authors from China represent 6.6% (225) of the 3425 papers published in Nature-branded primary research journals in 2011, up from 5.3% (152 papers) in 2010. By comparison, authors from China published just 12 articles in Nature-branded primary research journals in 2000. Notably, of the 225 articles published in 2011, 48 were published inNature Communications which launched in April 2010.

The top ten Chinese institutions by contribution 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 a strong lead, publishing 62 articles in Nature-branded primary research journals in 2011, but it must be born in mind that it is a very large institution with over 100 institutes and close to 50,000 researchers and so a high count is to be expected. Among the universities, USTC is number one ahead of Peking University and Tsinghua University, which are generally recognized to be the top two universities in China.

The top ten Chinese cities by contribution are: Beijing, Shanghai, Hefei, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Wuhan, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Xi’an. These ten cities account for approximately 86% of China’s contribution to Nature-branded primary research journals in 2011, and also house 19 of the top 20 institutions in the China rankings.

The Nature Publishing Index 2011 China also presents a new analysis of ISI Web of Knowledge data, showing that China now publishes more than 10% of the world’s most cited scientific research. China increased its share of the top 1% of highly cited scientific articles from 1.85% (127 out of 6,874 articles) in 2001 to 11.3% (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. The United States, which leads the world, has seen its share of highly influential research drop from 64.3% (4,420 out of 6,874 articles) in 2001 to 50.7% (5,190 out of 10,238 articles) in 2011.

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