India has emerged as the world’s third-largest publisher of science and engineering articles, according to the latest US report. China, which accounts for 20.67 per cent of all global publications in scientific articles, is at the top position, followed by the US at 16.54 per cent, as per the statistics compiled by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).
The data, which was released on Tuesday, stated that in 2008, India published 48,998 science and engineering articles. This increased to 1,35,788 articles in 2018 and the country now accounts for 5.31 per cent of the total world publications in science and engineering.
In China, the number of global scientific publications increased from 2,49,049 in 2008 to 5,28,263 in 2018, in a growth rate of 7.81 per cent per annum.
The US, the total global publications in science and engineering articles grew at a rate of 0.71 per cent from 3,93,979 in 2008 to 4,22,808 in 2018.
Though a long way to go, as compared to the US and China in terms of the number of scientific article publications, India’s emergence as third largest publisher is mainly due to a phenomenal growth rate in the last decade, the report noted.
The global research output, as measured by peer-reviewed science and engineering (S&E) journal articles and conference papers, grew about four per cent annually over the last 10 years.
The other countries which made it to the top 10 list are Germany (1,04,396), Japan (98,793), UK (97,681), Russia (81,579), Italy (71,240), South Korea (66,376) and France (66,352).
According to the report, China’s rate of research output has grown almost twice as fast as the world’s annual average for the last 10 years, while the output of the US and the European Union (EU) has grown at less than half the world’s annual growth rate.
Research papers from the US and the EU continue to have the most impact; however, China has shown a rapid increase in producing impactful publications, as measured by references to journal articles and conference papers.
Specialisation in scientific fields differs among countries, with the US, the EU and Japan more specialised in health sciences and China and India more specialised in engineering, as measured by journal articles and conference papers. “China and India have increased their share of the growing world output,” the report said. China produced five per cent of the global output in 2000 and grew to 21 per cent in 2018; India’s share rose from two per cent to five per cent during this period.
“Among the 15 largest publication producers, countries with higher than average growth rates include South Korea (four per cent), Brazil (five per cent), China (eight per cent), Russia (10 per cent), India (11 per cent) and Iran (11 per cent),” the report said.