UK research knocks out competition in impact ring

UK research is punching above its weight in impact terms, according to a report prepared by Elsevier for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

December 19, 2013

The report, published on 6 December, compares the performance of the UK’s research base with that of similar countries.

UK researchers were responsible for 6.4 per cent of all papers published worldwide in 2012, the third-highest proportion among the comparator countries (beaten only by the US and China).

Yet when the nations are ranked by field-weighted citation impact, the UK tops the list.

Field-weighted citation impact can be used as an indicator of research quality. The UK’s has been rising at a rate of 1.28 per cent a year since 2008 and in 2012 had reached just over 1.6. The world average is 1.

The figure varies across the UK’s constituent countries. Scottish researchers rank highest, at about 1.75, with researchers from Northern Ireland lowest at just under 1.5. Citation impact has improved since 2008 across all four countries. Wales’ impact factor rose by about 1.5 points between 2008 and 2012, reaching the same level as the UK overall.

Although the UK is top for field-weighted impact factor among the comparator countries, it ranks sixth in the EU group, behind small research nations including Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Austria.

Among Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development members, the UK comes eighth.

Source: Elsevier, International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base - 2013; data from Scopus

holly.else@tsleducation.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest