Japan Slips Further in Global Science Paper RankingScience
A report issued in 2023 by Japan’s National Institute of Science and Technology Policy shows that Japan fell by one rank to thirteenth for its average number of papers in the top 10% most cited globally in the field of natural science between 2019 and 2021, with 3,767. These are calculated according to degree of contribution in cases of international collaboration. For the top 1% most frequently cited papers, Japan ranked twelfth with an annual average of 319. The average annual number of papers published overall from 2019 to 2021 was 70,775, placing Japan fifth worldwide.
China ranked first for papers in the top 10%, with 54,405 papers, followed by the United States with 36,208, while Britain was in a distant third with 8,878. China also ranked first for the top 1% ranking.
The breakdown by academic field for the top 10% most cited papers shows that Japan ranks higher for physics, clinical medicine, and chemistry than other areas. The United States ranks high for clinical medicine, basic life sciences, and physics, while China is strong in the fields of materials science, chemistry, and engineering.
The table below shows the changes in the global ranking for the top 10% most cited papers. Japan was among the top five for most of the 2000s, but since then has fallen in the ranking, overtaken by countries like China, France, and South Korea.
A look at other indicators shows that Japan ranks third globally behind the United States and China for its R&D expenditures and number of researchers, which totaled ¥18.1 trillion and 705,000, respectively. Japan has the top global share, at 26.0%, for patent applications to two or more countries, known as “patent families,” based on the average for 2015 to 2017. Among these patent families, Japan’s global share is particular high for the technical areas of textile and paper machines, optics, and surfacing technologies and coatings.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)