Top countries in sciences and social sciences based on impact

Data provided by Thomson Scientific from its Essential Science Indicators, 1 January 1998–30 April 2008

July 17, 2008

RankCountry Papers CitationsCitations per paper
1Switzerland161,879 2,323,889 14.36
2United States2,854,884 39,295,4 13.76
3Denmark88,155 1,169,661 13.
4Netherlands222,641 2,912,261 13.08
5Scotland102,511 1,321,421 12.89
6Sweden168,285 2,094,964 12.45
7England654,639 8,138,356 12.43
8Finland82,395 964,608 11.71
9Canada397,612 4,476,856 11.26
10Belgium120,398 1,348,242 11.20
11Germany738,434 8,168,924 11.06
12Austria84,433 901,230 10.67
13Israel105,858 1,124,737 10.62
14Norway60,9 637,634 10.58
15France528,083 5,510,065 10.43
16Australia255,431 2,565,792 10.04
17Italy378,661 3,742,987 9.88
18New Zealand50,593 451,222 8.92
19Japan771,078 6,717,770 8.71
20Spain8,805 2,393,242 8.58
The data above were extracted from Thomson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators database. This database, currently covering the period January 1998 to April 2008, surveys only journal articles (original research

reports and review articles) indexed by Thomson Reuters. Articles are assigned to a category based on the journals in which they were published and Thomson Reuters’ journal-to-category field-definition scheme. Both articles tabulated and citation counts to those articles are for the period indicated.

Here our ranking in all fields of the sciences and social sciences is by citations per paper – among nations

that published 50,000 or more papers for the period – to reveal weighted impact. For articles with multiple authors from different nations, each nation receives full, not fractional, citation credit. Essential Science Indicators lists nations ranked in the top 50 per cent for a field over a given period, based on total citations.

In all fields surveyed, 148 nations or territories are listed, meaning 296 were surveyed. Thirty-two nations or territories produced at least 50,000 papers indexed by Thomson Reuters from January 1998 through April 2008.

Of course, the mix of research in different fields produced by each nation varies, and since different fields exhibit different average rates of citation, the above data represent a blended measure: those that produced more papers in high-impact fields have an advantage over those that disproportionately published in low-impact fields. Likewise, those that published greater numbers of papers in languages other than English have a disadvantage compared with those publishing exclusively in English, the lingua franca of modern research.

For more information on Thomson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators, see http://scientific.thomsonreuters.com/products/esi. Also see: http://scientific.thomson.com.

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