Statistics show China may surpass U.S. in academic output by next decade

Data from a recent Thomson Reuters study show that Chinese research output has increased from just over 20,000 papers in 1998 to nearly 112,000 in 2008.

Faculty of 1000, which selects only the top 2% of the biomedical literature, has evaluated more than 530 papers from Chinese universities and institutes since 2001. While only 27 Chinese-authored papers were selected in 2004, this increased by over fourfold in 2008 and is set to be even higher in 2009.

Jane Hunter, Managing Director of Faculty of 1000, says, "Recent statistics show that China could outstrip the US in terms of academic output in the next decade. Faculty of 1000 is excited to see the depth and quality of research coming out of the country."

Mark Danderson from the China Medical Tribune, a keen supporter of f1000, investigated the scope of Chinese research. He found

  • the number of PubMed articles by Chinese authors increased by nearly tenfold from 4,891 in 1999 to 46,842 in 2008
  • in 1999, 190 of these papers focused on human clinical trials; rising to 1264 by 2008
  • China had proportionally more papers classed as 'Changes clinical practice' in f1000 Medicine than the USA (7.9% vs 6.8%, respectively).

Recent evaluations of papers from China have received high numbers of views on f1000.com and have garnered widespread media attention. A review of The symbolic power of money: reminders of money alter social distress and physical pain by Xinyue Zhou et al. of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou featured in the Top 10 Most Viewed articles on f1000 Medicine articles in September, and was reported in the Wall Street Journal as well as the UK's Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.

Professor Sun-Wei Guo, Faculty of 1000 Member for Women's Health and Director of the Institute of Obstetric and Gynecologic Research at Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine, said, "Universities and research institutions in China are increasingly publishing academic papers in English to show the quality of medical research in this country on an international stage."

Zhu Chen of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Laboratory, Shanghai Institute of Hematology, said, "Faculty of 1000 is an important tool in promoting our institutions' papers and showcasing how much Chinese research is changing clinical practice around the world."

Source: Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine

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