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Top 20 Countries with the Highest Number of Citations attracted to Physics Journals (Ranked by Citations)
 
            Per Capita
Ranked by Citations Country Papers Citations Citations per Paper Population in 1000 Papers Citations
       
1 USA 218,045 2,719,244 12.47 308,798 0.71 8.81
2 GERMANY 104,592 1,100,855 10.53 82,534 1.27 13.34
3 JAPAN 117,017 899,691 7.69 127,938 0.91 7.03
4 FRANCE 74,124 683,324 9.22 61,946 1.20 11.03
5 ENGLAND* 55,085 577,457 10.48 61,019 0.90 9.46
6 RUSSIAN FEDERATION 80,575 458,682 5.69 141,780 0.57 3.24
7 ITALY 49,700 449,636 9.05 58,946 0.84 7.63
8 CHINA 86,679 371,287 4.28 1,336,311 0.06 0.28
9 SWITZERLAND 22,231 304,182 13.68 7,512 2.96 40.49
10 SPAIN 28,461 261,164 9.18 44,593 0.64 5.86
11 CANADA 24,759 238,065 9.62 33,170 0.75 7.18
12 NETHERLANDS 17,407 206,652 11.87 16,450 1.06 12.56
13 REPUBLIC OF KOREA 32,313 191,334 5.92 48,388 0.67 3.95
14 POLAND 24,529 168,958 6.89 38,022 0.65 4.44
15 INDIA 28,786 162,061 5.63 1,186,186 0.02 0.14
16 SWEDEN 15,431 149,739 9.70 9,160 1.68 16.35
17 ISRAEL 14,040 147,556 10.51 7,045 1.99 20.95
18 AUSTRALIA 15,189 127,456 8.39 20,951 0.72 6.08
19 BRAZIL 19,956 121,789 6.10 194,228 0.10 0.63
20 AUSTRIA 9,137 105,854 11.59 8,391 1.09 12.61

 

Source: Essential Science Indicators, 1 August 2008. Thomson Scientific-indexed journals of Physics. * Population data are from United Kingdom
Note: Top 20 countries (from 87 countries in the survey) that have attracted the highest total citations to their papers published in Thomson Scientific-indexed journals of Physics over the last 11-year period (1997-2007).

This table is derived from a publication of SCIENCEWATCH.COM - a web site of Thomson-Reuters that tracks "Essential Science Indicators".
It shows the 20 countries that attracted the highest number of citations to their papers in leading physics journals over the past 11-year period (1997-2007). With almost 3 million citations, papers from the United States of America had, by far, the highest citation index - almost three times as many as papers from Germany. According to these statistics China ranked number 8 for citations per physics paper, while India ranked at number 15.

Statistics like these have, for a long time, substantiated the supremacy of US physics research. But their value is highly questionable.

The first step in getting a more realistic picture of scientific productivity is to analyze the average number of citations per paper, which could be seen as an indicator of its scientific quality. Sorting by the number of citations per paper (click red box in yellow bar !) results in a quite different ranking. Now Switzerland (with its large CERN physics lab) is the leading country in physics research.

A second step in evaluating these statistics would be to relate the scientific production to human and financial resources. With more than 300 million people and the highest GDP in the world, the US can easily find the human and financial resources to produce large numbers of scientific papers. This is even more obvious for China and India - countries that can easily find enough competent scientists in their huge population to produce a few ten-thousand highly-cited research papers. Relating scientific productivity to population size gives a dramatically different picture: Now researchers from Switzerland are more than 5 times more productive in the publication of physics papers than researchers from the US. The second most productive country is Israel, followed by the Netherlands and Austria (!).

If we look at per-capita citations of physics papers (click to sort the table), we can see that now papers from Switzerland are, by far, the most frequently cited - followed by papers from Israel and Austria. The United States, on the other hand, has a relatively low citation score in physics papers if related to population size.

The widely shared assumption, that the US is the leading nation in basic science is fundamentally flawed. This assumption does not take into account the relation between human and financial investments and scientific output. Taking into account population size as a measure of the human resource base, the statistics clearly indicate that Europe is leading in basic research (at least in physics research). China and India, on the other hand, are still far behind; and even further behind is Brazil, the leading country of Latin America. For each inhabitant Austrian's produce more than 10 times more papers in leading physics journals than Brazilians. During the past 11 years the per-capita number of physics papers from Israel has been more than 33 times higher than in China and 99 times higher than in India. China has 159 times the population of Austria; but physics papers from China received only about 4 times the citations than physics papers from Austria.

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This data section was updated on 18 December 2011

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved.

china-profile.com - 18 April 2012