A Comparative Analysis of High Impact Science Between the United States and China

Friday, February 17, 2017: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 310 (Hynes Convention Center)
Lan Xue, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
China has become the second largest producer of scientific papers after the United States Since 2004. While there were some concern about the quality of these publications in the early years, the rapid catch up in publications in top journals by Chinese scientists in recent years has eased the concern. The question remains, however, on how could the Chinese scientists have made it in such a relatively short period of time? In this paper, we analyze trends of publications by Chinese scientists in top journals and the ways they have moved up the ladders of global scientific research.

We adopt the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) journal rankings 2010, which is a globally recommended ranking of peer review journal developed by the Australian Research Council, as the criterion of top journals. In total, we collect over three million articles and reviews published on 829 ERA A* journals during 1995-2013 from Scopus. By analyzing these articles, we find that: (1) Since 2012, China has surpassed Germany to be the second largest producer of top journal articles, which is about 8 year later than being the second largest producer of all articles. Chemistry is the first discipline to get to the second position; (2) Scientists with more publications tend to publish in top journal articles, which means publishing experience helps to improve the scientists’ capacity; (3)

At last, over 50% of the China’s articles are coauthored with other countries. This proportion goes up to about 70% when we limited to the scientists’ first top journal article, which shows that international collaboration spurred China’s top publications.