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China tops list of influential academic papers

By JIANG CHENGLONG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-20 23:46

China replaced the United States in 2022 as the country with the most papers published in global influential journals specializing in nearly 180 disciplines, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The annual report, issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology's Institute of Scientific and Technical Information, was based on an analysis of papers published by Chinese scientists at home and abroad last year.

Among the statistics released on Wednesday, the most notable one is that China surpassed the US to become the nation with the most academic papers published in the world's most influential journals.

In 2022, there were 159 such journals covering 178 disciplines worldwide, and a total of 54,002 papers were published in those journals.

Chinese scholars contributed 16,349 papers, accounting for 30.3 percent, exceeding the US for the first time. The number of US papers published in the journals was 14,396, accounting for 26.7 percent.

The country also ranked first in the world in terms of the number of papers published in high-level international journals and citations of the papers.

According to the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information, the publications are representative scientific journals covering various disciplines worldwide, with each of which ranking among the top 10 percent of journals worldwide based on their impact factors and total citations, and publishing more than 50 academic papers and review articles annually.

In 2022, there were 371 representative journals, publishing more than 340,000 papers. About 27 percent of those papers had first authors and first affiliations from China, with a total citation count of 649,600.

A scientific analyst at the institute, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the performance of Chinese papers in the world's high-quality journals indicated that China has become one of the leaders in scientific and technological innovation.

In addition, China continues to enhance academic international cooperation, with 159,200 internationally co-authored papers being published in 2022, an increase of 6.7 percent over 2021.

Those co-authored papers accounted for 21.6 percent of the total published papers of China.

Moreover, co-authored papers with Chinese authors as the first author accounted for 73.3 percent of all international co-authored papers in China. Their partners were from 173 countries and regions, with the top six being the US, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany and Japan.

Alexandra Vance, CEO of the American Institute of Physics Publishing, told China Daily that through academic publishing, Chinese researchers can showcase their groundbreaking discoveries to the international scientific community, gaining recognition for their contributions and expanding their impact.

"Additionally, the international scientific community benefits from access to China's rapidly advancing research landscape, which covers an increasingly wide spectrum of disciplines, particularly in physical science," she said.

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