30 January 2018
Nature Index has just published an article by Dalmeet Singh Chawla showing the remarkable citations record of Switzerland. The country contributed three times the number of papers to the top 1% of highly cited papers than would be expected from a country of that size.
The article, citing data from the US National Center for Science and Engineering statistics (NCSES) noted that some other smaller countries also did well while Japan, Brazil and India were under-performers. In recent years Switzerland has attached great importance to scientific research, spending 3.4% of its GDP on research and development, a proportion exceeded only by Israel and South Korea.
In addition, the presence of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project is a source of international collaboration and a generator of papers and thousands of citations.
Other countries that did better than expected included Denmark, Iceland and Singapore. The article noted, however, that the statistics were based on full counting, where each researcher on a multi- author paper is given full credit for the paper, rather than weighted fractional counting which is used by Nature index.
The fastest growth in scientific articles was seen in Iran where the number of papers grew by 22% per annum between 2004 and 2014. In India and China, the growth rate was only 14% and worldwide it was 6%.