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Posted: November 4, 2009

China doubles research output, leaving West in its wake

(Nanowerk News) A study from Thomson Reuters released this week shows explosive growth in research output from China, far outpacing research activity in the rest of the world.
At this pace, China will overtake the USA within the next decade.
The study, Global Research Report: China, informs policymakers about the research and collaboration potential of China and its current place in world science. The study is part of the Global Research Report series from Thomson Reuters that illustrates the changing landscape and dynamics of global research around the world.
"If China's research growth remains this rapid and substantial, European and North American institutions will want to be part of it," said Jonathan Adams, director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters. "China no longer depends on links to traditional G8 partners to help its knowledge development. When Europe and the USA visit China they can only do so as equal partners."
The study draws on data found in Web of Science®, available on the Web of Knowledge(SM) platform -- the world's largest citation environment of the highest quality scholarly literature. Key findings include:
  • China's output increased from just over 20,000 research papers in 1998 to nearly 112,000 in 2008, The nation doubled its output since 2004 alone. China surpassed Japan, the UK and Germany in 2006 and now stands second only to the USA.
  • China is heading to overtake the USA in output within the next decade.
  • China's research is concentrated in the physical sciences and technology. Materials science, chemistry and physics predominate. Looking toward the future, rapid growth can be seen in agricultural sciences and life sciences fields such as immunology, microbiology, and molecular biology and genetics.
  • The USA stands out in terms of collaboration with China., US-based authors contributed to nearly 9 percent of papers from China-based institutions between 2004 and 2008.
  • Regional collaboration expansion is notable, especially with Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia.
  • Source: Thomson Reuters
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