The structure and comparative advantages of China’s scientific research: Quantitative and qualitative perspectives

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Abstract

In recent decades China has witnessed an impressive improvement in science and its scientific output has become the second largest in the world. From both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, this paper aims to explore China’s comparative advantages in different academic disciplines. This paper employs two datasets: publications in all journals and publications in the top 5 % journals by discipline. With the former database we investigate the comparative advantages of each academic discipline in terms of absolute output volume, and with the latter database we evaluate the scientific output published in prestigious resources. Different from the criticism stated in previous literature, this paper finds that the quality of China’s research (represented by papers published in high-impact journals) is promising. Since 2006 the growth of scientific publications in China has been driven by papers published in English-language journals. The increasing visibility of Chinese science seems to be paving the way for its wider recognition and higher citation rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-452
Number of pages18
JournalScientometrics
Volume106
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

JEL classifications

  • o30 - "Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights: General"
  • o00 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth
  • r11 - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

Keywords

  • High-impact journals
  • Publication quality
  • Publications
  • Revealed comparative advantage
  • Scientific output
  • SHARES
  • OUTPUT
  • IMPACT FACTOR
  • CITATION IMPACT
  • JOURNALS
  • PUBLICATIONS
  • RESEARCH PERFORMANCE
  • INDICATORS
  • SCIENCE-AND-TECHNOLOGY
  • INDEX

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