China / Education

Collaboration seen as way for researchers to raise their profile

By Zhao Xinying (China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-31 08:13

Chinese universities should collaborate more frequently with researchers from around the globe in conducting research and working on academic papers in order to strengthen their position within the global research community, a senior manager of an academic publishing company suggested.

"China is producing a lot of research papers, but these papers are not highly cited enough compared with (papers from) other countries," said M'hamed el Aisati, director of content and analytics research management of Elsevier, an Amsterdam-based company that provides scientific, technological and medical information solutions.

Aisati said that low citations result from inadequate international exposure of the papers in international academic databases such as Scopus, an Elsevier online abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature.

"We have a lot of Chinese research papers in Scopus," Aisati said, adding that these papers, however, are not visible to the world, because "if the authors of the papers are only Chinese, then they will only probably be cited by Chinese authors and not researchers from other countries".

Under such circumstances, Aisati suggested that Chinese researchers cooperate more internationally.

"A very easy example: A paper that is a collaboration between a Chinese researcher and a researcher at Imperial College London, or Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or whatever, will be read more often by the global research community (than a paper only by Chinese)," he said. "And if it's read more often, there's a tendency that it will receive more citations."

Aisati also mentioned that one way for people to measure the quality of research is the Field Weighted Citation Impact, an indicator that tests the current citations received and the expected citations of papers from each subject.

"When we look at the FWCI of the whole of China, it's below the world average. But in terms of volume of papers published, they are catching up with the United States. So maybe in five or six years, China will surpass the US in the number of published papers," he said.

He said Chinese researchers and universities have made progress in international collaboration in recent years.

"They are doing better. They are increasingly collaborating with researchers abroad," he said.

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