Authors of Scientific Articles by Country
Posted on August 5, 2007 Comments (1)
The United States National Science Foundation published – Changing U.S. Output of Scientific Articles: 1988–2003.
The unprecedented plateau in the number of U.S. S&E articles should not be confused with a decades-long and familiar decline in the U.S. share of the world’s S&E articles. As other states built up their S&E capabilities, the U.S. share of the world’s articles in natural sciences and engineering dropped from 38% in 1973 to 28% in 2003. This decline in share is not surprising, nor has it been viewed as a cause for concern. By many measures, including articles published in peer-reviewed journals, the United States has been the world’s leading scientific nation for decades and remains the world’s leading scientific nation.
Although the U.S. share of the world’s influential articles dropped substantially, the United States remained dominant in this area. At the end of the period studied, U.S. institutions were at least partially responsible for half of the world’s influential articles; no other major publishing center approached this figure. Moreover, compared with other major publishing centers, a considerably higher percentage of total U.S. output was classified as influential.
NSF includes a great deal of interesting data along with commentary. One compelling area is that of the location of authors of the top 1% of the most cited papers. The USA leads with 64.6% in 1992 and 56.6% in 2003. European Union-15 (15 countries for this measure) 23.3% to 27.7% (interesting, not what I would have predicted – which would have been a decline, though a small one). Japan 4.2% to 5.3%. East Asia – 4 (China, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan) from .1 to 1.1% (and rising rapidly – .5% in 2001 to .8% in 2002) – interesting but not so surprising, basically what I would expect – rapid gains. All other countries: 7.8% in 1992 and 9.3% in 2003. I predict these figures will have to break out India sometime in the next 10 years – I wish they did now though I expect it is a fairly low figure. China will also be reported separately, I believe.
The NSF data includes all sorts of great stuff. For the same top 1% of cited articles by topic East Asia – 4 in Engineering/Technology: 1992 .9% – 2003 7.2% in Social Sciences 0.0% to .6% in Mathematics 1.3% to 5.6%. In Engineering/Technology the USA dropped from 63.3% to 45.4%.
This is more data supporting what I have said before Science Excellence and Economic Benefits:
I would say the most likely future is that no clear overall leader exists. I would guess that centers of excellence will emerge and for various fields in not only in the USA but in China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea and elsewhere. I also expect that in those cases the people working in those centers of excellence will be drawn from all over the world.
Related: Global Technology Leadership – Asia: Rising Stars of Science and Engineering – Basic Science Research Funding – Science, Engineering and the Future of the American Economy – Worldwide Science and Engineering Doctoral Degree Data
One more interesting tidbit: for the top 10% of articles East Asia – 4 grows from .4% to 2.4% and all other grow from 10.6 to 12.2%. The USA drops from 56% to 46.5%. It is not surprising the USA is strongest in the top papers and the countries growing are first seeing gains at the less cited levels. But it is interesting to see those figures.