Top nations in physics

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

February 4, 2010

 CountryPapers CitationsCitations per paper
1 Switzerland20,643 316,939 15.35
2 Denmark7,183 101,677 14.16
3 United States205,678 2,887,903 14.04
4 Austria8,721 122,360 14.03
5 The Netherlands16,311 224,541 13.77
6 England51,861 638,497 12.31
7 Germany97,673 1,178,343 12.06
8 Israel13,084 155,999 11.92
9 Canada24,538 3,969 11.17
10 Sweden14,536 161,753 11.13
11 Spain28,487 308,265 10.82
12 France70,481 738,285 10.47
13 Italy47,775 486,026 10.17
14%3D Belgium11,987 118,439 9.88
14%3D Australia14,621 144,406 9.88
16 Japan109,893 953,821 8.68
17 Poland24,647 186,321 7.56
18 Brazil19,933 141,730 7.11
19 South Korea35,541 246,652 6.94
20 India29,984 198,639 6.62

The data above were extracted from the Essential Science Indicators database of Thomson Reuters. This database, currently covering the period January 1999 through October 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 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 physics is by citations per paper – among nations that collected 100,000 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 physics, 88 nations are listed, meaning 176 were surveyed. Twenty-three nations collected at least 100,000 citations in this field during the period.

A comparison of this survey with a similar one from two years ago shows few meaningful changes in rank order by impact. However, England has moved up in the latest survey from eighth to sixth. Also, Russia has dropped out of the top 20 and India entered it, comparing 1997-2007 with 1999-2009.

For more information on Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators, see

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign

  • Worker checks thin-film silicon solar module, Truebbach

Asia doubles representation while European countries face varied performance

  • Lisa Mckenzie, Class War Party candidate, Chingford

Anarchist academic reflects on what her recent brush with the law says about threats to academic freedom