China Is Now #2 in Production of Elite Science

Has leapfrogged the UK to become home to the 2nd largest number of highly cited researchers

China has leapfrogged the UK to become home to the second largest number of highly cited researchers, according to Web of Science, who publish the annual list. The list identifies scientists who have authored multiple journal articles ranking in the top 1% of papers in their field, in terms of citations. The list’s compilers only consider papers published within the last decade.

85% of the researchers named on the list work at institutions in just 10 countries. Of the 6219 researchers appearing in the list, almost half (2737) are based in the US. Chinese institutions are the next biggest contributors, providing 636 researchers – a significant increase on the 482 China-based scientists named last year. 517 UK-based scientists appear on the list, while Germany and Australia (327 and 271 researchers, respectively) complete the top five contributing countries.

Harvard University is the top institute with 203 highly-cited researchers, putting it above Canada – whose 183 scientists put it at sixth on the list.

The highly cited list’s compilers say that it provides a ‘who’s who of influential researchers’, although they acknowledge that alternative methods for measuring the impact of scientists’ work ‘could generate a different—though likely overlapping—list of names’.

The use of citations as a metric for the significance of a scientist’s contributions is a contentious issue and studies have shown that the most highly-cited papers are not always the ones scientists consider to be the most important in their field.

Source: Chemistry World

Region score
USA 2817
Mainland China 700
UK 564
Germany 347
Australia 303
Canada 195
Netherlands 179
France 168
Switzerland 166
Saudi Arabia 105

Source: Chemistry World

  1. Godfree Roberts says

    The article focuses on individuals, but focus on the collective and we see a different story.

    According to the Japan Science and Technology Agency, China now ranks as the most influential country in four of eight core scientific fields, tying with the U.S. The agency took the top 10% of the most referenced studies in each field, and determined the number of authors who were affiliated with the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, China or Japan. China ranked first in computer science, mathematics, materials science and engineering. The U.S., on the other hand, led the way in physics, environmental and earth sciences, basic life science and clinical medicine.

    China has also overtaken the US to become the world’s largest producer of scientific research papers, making up almost a fifth of the total global output, according to a major new report.

    The World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, ranked 167 universities and public research universities for the top 500 patent applications. 110 of the patents were from China, 20 from the United States and 19 from South Korea. China dominates a global ranking of the most-cited research papers published in the 30 hottest technology fields.

    1. vox3non says

      Unfortunately, too many, because of their bigotry or wilful ignorance, will dismiss China’s advance.

      Given that China tends to be incremental in its approach rather than radical, it will be the case of the tortoise overtaking the sleeping rabbit.

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