Last month Thomson Reuters released its report ‘Building Bricks: Exploring the global research and innovation impact of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Korea’. Among others, it confirmed the upward trend of Chinese research and innovation performances in the last five years (2007-2011). China’s output has always been impressive in the last years, but this report now also confirms that among the BRIC countries is also has a huge academic impact.
The following figure shows that China’s overall share in global publications has reached 11% (over 150.000). China’s scientific presence in the fields of Materials Science, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Geosciences is very obvious. In the first two areas, over one fifth of the world publications come from China.
In terms of quality, Thomson Reuters counted 1131 highly cited papers in the year 2011 which is much higher than South Korea (328) and India (235). The diversity of the scientific fields in which China seems to excel is also striking which is shown in the figure below.
In addition to the traditional fields in engineering and natural sciences, Chinese publications are not only highly cities in the fields of Agricultural and Animal Sciences, Economics & Business, but also in Social Sciences, Psychiatry & Psychology and Environment & Ecology.