Chinese institutions have become a rising power in scientific research, a new global indicator of high-quality science showed.
According to the Nature Index 2014 Global, Chinese institutions, led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have increasingly contributed to global science. The index ranked institutions based on the number of papers published in 2013.
The academy, which published 165 articles, ranked No 6 worldwide and led the Asia-Pacific region, followed by the University of Tokyo, which ranked No 8.
Harvard University topped the list with 387 articles published, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford in the second and third slots.
Nine Chinese institutions were placed in the top 200, up from three in 2013. The Chinese Academy of Sciences surpassed the University of Tokyo as the top institution in the Asia-Pacific region, with the number of articles published on science and nature doubling from the previous year.
The United States still dominates the rankings, with five of the top ten research institutions.
The Nature Index, a supplement to Nature, the prominent weekly interdisciplinary journal, tracks the author affiliations of nearly 60,000 scientific articles published each year. The database is compiled by Nature Publishing Group in collaboration with Digital Science.
Articles included in the Nature Index are drawn from 68 journals of natural sciences, identified by researchers as where they would choose to publish their best work.
“Research is a global enterprise, and science has the power to help solve the societal challenges of our day,” Nature Publishing Group CEO Steven Inchcoombe said. “At Nature Publishing Group, we want to understand research outputs, collaborations between institutions and the state of global research, and to enable an evidence-based approach to policy and funding. We hope the Nature Index, and its freely accessible website, will be helpful to the research community as another perspective to the metrics and evaluation tools available. We are releasing this in beta to encourage feedback, and to emphasize that the Nature Index is a work in progress and will continue to evolve.”
China announced an increase in research and innovation investment in November 2012 when President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang took office.
The country invested 1.18 trillion yuan ($196.7 billion) in research and development in 2013, or 2.1 percent of China’s GDP, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.