Articles in NHK World and The Asahi Shimbun have noted a recent report from Japan’s National Institute of Science and Technology Policy which finds that China has overtaken the United States in the production of research in the natural sciences.
The analysis is based on data from Clarivate Analytics and show that in the period 2017-2019 China produced a total of 353,100 papers in the natural sciences while the USA produced 285,700. Germany came in third and Japan fourth.
With regard to quality, the three-year average of top 10% cited articles by Chinese researchers was 40, 219. This amounted to 24.8% of the total compared to 22.9% for the USA and 5.4% for the UK.
China is the leading producer of research in materials science, chemistry, and engineering while the USA is still dominant in clinical medicine and the life sciences. At the very top of the research hierarchy, the USA still has a precarious lead holding first place for articles in the top 1% frequently cited.