Japan science research output flat as China soars PDF Print E-mail
Human Development - Education

Japan science research output flat as China soars
HONG KONG
22 June 2010

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The output of scientific papers from Japanese researchers has stayed largely flat over the past decade while output from China has risen fourfold, according to a report released by Thomson Reuters.

The report points out how the share of mature economies like Japan, the United States and Britain in the world's scientific literature is falling while developing states like China are muscling onto the scene. The report, which focuses on Japan's scientific research performance over the last 10 years, also urged the country's scientists to collaborate with colleagues in the region.

"Now Japan must take advantage of the opportunities on its door-step. The Asia-Pacific region is on course to be a powerful focus for the next phase of global research development ... Growth in China and India is on a massive upward trajectory," according to the report.

Japan produced 78,500 papers indexed by Thomson Reuters in 2009, up modestly from 72,000 in 2000, while China produced 125,000 papers in 2009, nearly fourfold from 2000. Despite its world-class universities, laboratories and Nobel prize winners, Japan's share of the world's research production slipped to 6.75 percent in 2009 from 9.45 percent in 2000.

The same was seen in the United States, whose share fell to 28.5 percent in 2009 from 33.5 percent in 2000, while Britain's share fell to 7.68 percent from 9.43 percent within the same period.

"A contributing factor to Japan's underperformance could be the low rate of international collaboration. Research is driven by domestic activity instead of innovative opportunities with quickly developing neighbors," wrote Jonathan Adams, director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters in a statement.

Japan's research is focused on physics and it produced around 54,800 papers between 2005 to 2009, or just over 11 percent of the total produced around the world on the discipline.

The report added that regional collaboration with China and South Korea was likely to increase as their domestic research bases grow.

(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Chris Lewis and Sanjeev Miglani)
Source: Reuters.

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