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China publishes more scientific articles than US: Report

By Liu Hui | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-01-22 16:36

For the first time, China has overtaken the United States to become the largest producer of science publications, according to a report released Thursday by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).

The agency's statistics showed China published more than 426,000 research articles in 2016, accounting for 18.6 percent of the total documented in the Scopus, Elsevier's abstract and citation database. That compares with 409,000 papers authored by the US.

China's rise threatens the US' position as a global leader in science and technology activity whose relative share is declining, said Maria Zuber, director of the NSF.

Despite China's shifting scientific landscape, the US remains a scholarship powerhouse that still pumps out numbers of high-profile studies. The US spends the most on research, with about $500 billion in 2015, or 26 percent of global total investment, while China ranked second with $400 billion.

The US came third in producing highly cited articles, lagging behind Sweden and Switzerland. The EU and China were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Where other countries are concerned, India has surpassed Japan, and the rest of the developing world continued an upward trajectory in terms of the sheer volume of publications, according to the report.

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