Chinese scientists set to lead the world

08:16, March 30, 2011      

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China has shot into second place in the world in terms of the number of scientific articles that are published in international magazines and the country's scientists are set to take the top spot from the United States in the next few years, according to a new report.

"China has already overtaken the UK and is the second leading producer of research publications, but some time before 2020 it is expected to surpass the US," said the report from the Royal Society in London.

While the top 10 is still dominated by major Western powers, their share of published research papers is falling, it noted.

Brazil and India are among countries that are quickly making their way up the list.

"The US leads the world in research, producing 20 percent of the world's authorship of research papers, dominating world university league tables, and investing nearly $400 billion per year in public and private research and development," said the report, which was released on Monday.

"The UK, Japan, Germany and France each also command strong positions in the global league tables, producing high quality publications and attracting researchers to their world-class universities and research institutes."

China was in sixth place between 1999 and 2003 (with 4.4 percent of the total) but shot up to the second place with 10.2 percent for the years 2004 to 2008, overtaking several countries, including Japan, which had been in second place.

While the US remained in top spot, it saw its share shrink from 26.4 percent to 21.2 percent.

"China's rise up the rankings has been especially striking," said the report.

"China has heavily increased its investment in R&D (research and development), with spending growing by 20 percent per year since 1999 to reach over $100 billion a year today."

The investment amounted to 1.44 percent of the country's GDP in 2007.

"China is also turning out huge numbers of science and engineering graduates, with 1.5 million leaving its universities in 2006," said the report.

The Royal Society's findings were in a report entitled Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global Scientific Collaboration in the 21st Century.

In a related development, the number of domestic applications for invention patents in China rose by 27.9 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, said a senior patent official on Tuesday.

The country received more than 391,000 applications for patents for inventions in 2010, the second-largest number worldwide, said He Hua, deputy director of the State Intellectual Property Office.

Chinese applicants also submitted 36,000 patent applications abroad between 2006 and 2010 -- under the Patent Cooperation Treaty -- which ranked fourth in the world, he said.

Source: China Daily-AFP
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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