Scotland is a world leader in terms of the number of times its scientists' work is cited by others relative to its size, according to a report released this week by the Scottish Government.
The report looked at the performance of Scottish scientific research against 26 other nations between 1995 and 2005, measuring the average number of citations per paper over ten years.
It shows that Scotland is second in the world for the impact of its research, performing better than big hitters such as the US, Germany and China. It is outstripped only by Switzerland.
Scottish research was the most cited when allowance was made for differences in the size of economies as measured by gross domestic product. The report also showed that Scottish citations have been increasing progressively between 1995 and 2005.
Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary, said that the report "is deserved recognition of a continued commitment to furthering our knowledge and understanding of the world".
Anne Glover, Scotland's Chief Scientific Officer, said: "This report confirms the quality of science carried out here and the potential it has to shape Scotland's future. Science will underpin our future economic success, helping us to win new investments and opportunities for the people of Scotland."
The study was carried out by the data analysis firm Evidence Ltd.