Top nations in neuroscience and behaviour by citation impact

Data provided by Thomson Reuters from its Essential Science Indicators, 1999-2009

July 9, 2009

 Country, ranked by cites per paperPapersCitations Citations per paperTop papers% top papers
1 United States118,501 2,675,940 22.582,0061.7
2 England23,416 528,750 22.583971.7
3 Switzerland6,417 132,341 20.62781.2
4 Scotland3,054 58,246 19.07381.2
5 Canada18,001 337,473 18.752031.1
6 Sweden7,033 131,238 18.66781.1
7 Germany,143 503,080 18.532901.1
8 Belgium3,542 63,696 17.98371.0
9 Austria2,864 51,329 17.92301.0
10 France16,9 285,434 17.531480.9
11 Israel4,081 71,172 17.44320.8
12 Finland3,199 55,026 17.20341.1
13 Denmark2,863 48,009 16.77230.8
14 The Netherlands8,925 147,601 16.54790.9
15 Australia7,368 111,406 15.12490.7
16 Italy17,251 244,386 14.171230.7
17 Spain8,704 119,4 13.70650.7
18 Japan24,259 322,507 13.291100.5
19 China6,1 48,948 7.81160.3
20 Brazil6,158 43,828 7.12100.2
The data above were extracted from the Essential Science Indicators database of Thomson Reuters. This data­base, currently covering the period January 1999 through February 2009, 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 the journal-to-category field-definition scheme used by Thomson Reuters. Both articles tabulated and citation counts for those articles are for the period indicated. This ranking in neuroscience and behaviour is by citations per paper – among nations whose papers attracted 40,000 or more citations during 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 neuroscience and behaviour, 82 nations are listed, meaning 164 were surveyed. Twenty nations collected 40,000 or more citations, and all are listed above.

Of interest here is the number and percentage of papers from each nation that were highly cited, defined as those in the top 1 per cent by citations, and analysed in cohorts by year of publication. As is evident by the ranking, the percentage of highly cited papers based on each nation’s total output is highly correlated with the citations per paper (impact) measure. This is not surprising given the skewed nature of citation distributions and the effect that highly cited papers have on the mean. The percentages for Finland (ranked 12th) and (to a lesser extent) for the Netherlands (14th) show that their output of highly cited papers is higher than might be expected.

For more information on the Essential Science Indicators of Thomson Reuters, see

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