Chinese scientists’ academic influence continues to rise as US researchers’ impact declines, international survey shows

In institution rankings, Harvard University retained the No. 1 spot it has held in past years with 233 researchers nominated. The Chinese Academy of Science ranked second with 228 researchers nominated.

“The ranking is likely to change next year, considering the data trend we have witnessed,” said Liu Shihua, publishing business manager of Clarivate Analytics, on Tuesday.

The trend was visible in the academic journal industry.

Xue Wangxin, a senior publishing editor at Tsinghua University Press, said: “40 percent of our journal’s editors are on the 2022 list. That means our editors are active in their research area, and are more likely to increase the journal’s influence”.

The journal, Nano Research Energy, is included in the Chinese Action Plan for Journal Excellence, a program launched by the China Association for Science and Technology that aims to cultivate high impact journals in China.

Editorial board members review papers received by Nano Research Energy and have final responsibility for the journal’s content. They are usually senior scientists in their fields.

“If our editors show up on the list, it indicates that their papers published in the last 10 years have been ranked among the top by the number of citations. It demonstrates their contribution and understanding of the field and shows the academic strength of the journal,” Xue said.


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Chinese researchers occupy more than 40 percent of spots on the list in the fields of mathematics, chemistry and material science. But China is lagging behind in medical fields such as clinical medicine and immunology.

“The United States, Europe and Japan have absolute advantages on the list in the biomedical field. But China is far below the global average on research investment in the biomedical industry,” Zhang Mizhi, from the Shanghai Institute for Science of Science, wrote in the journal Scientific Development in October.

“China should increase investment in biomedicine and attract more capital investment from the global market … to promote the research and breakthrough of key technologies in medical science, pharmaceuticals and organic fine chemistry”, he added.

“Research fuels the race for knowledge. While the United States continues to lead the world in research influence, China continues to close the gap,” said David Pendlebury, head of research analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate in an official report on November 15.

“Indeed, the 2022 list reflects a transformational rebalancing of scientific and scholarly contributions at the top level through the globalization of the research enterprise.”

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