On April 30th, the 2020 Nature Index Annual Tables were released, highlighting the ten leading countries in natural-sciences research, leading research institutions and fast-rising academic institutions, etc.
In the latest tables, China comes after the United States as the second most prolific producer of high-quality research but China is gaining momentum. The past five years have seen a huge increase in China’s science output and a shrinking gap between China and America. The following data show that China’s adjusted Share has increased by 63.5% from 2015 to 2019, while the United States decreased by 10% since 2015.
Leading countries in natural-sciences in the 2015 Nature Index Annual Tables
Leading countries in natural-sciences in the 2019 Nature Index Annual Tables
The Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS) has topped the leading research institutions list. With domination in chemistry, physics, Earth and environmental science, CAS’s Share accounts for 2.8%, almost twice that of Harvard University, of the total Share.
It is also worth noting that with a Share growth of 25.6%, University of Science and Technology of China(USTC) ranks top 10 for the first time. Besides, USTC also ranks 2nd in the fast-rising academic institutions list which tracks the increase of high-quality research output.
10 leading institutions in the 2020 Nature Index Annual Tables
David swinbanks, founder of natural index, said that the list shows that in the field of natural science, institutions with considerable funding and reputation continue to have strong performance in high-quality scientific research output. But he also sees the potential of institutions with smaller scales and shorter history to keep abreast. He stresses that other than the Nature Index Annual Tables, output from scientific research demand standards like data, software, intellectual property and so on.
The Nature Index presents global high-quality scientific research output and cooperation, by tracking research papers published in 82 high-quality natural science journals by institutions and countries. Its metrics mainly include Count and Share.
Count, formally referred to article count(AC), means that a country/region or an institution is given a Count of 1 for each article. That is to say, regardless of the number of authors an article has, the same article can contribute to the Count of multiple countries/regions or institutions.
Share is a fractional count(FC) which takes into account the share of authorship on each article. For example, the total Share available per article is 1, which is shared among all authors under the assumption that each contributed equally.
(Written by LIU Wei, edited by YE Zhenzhen, USTC News Center)