Report: America’s science output decreasing, but still has big impact

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Report: America's science output decreasing, but still has big impact

Chicago (IL) – A report by Thomas Reuters says the growth of America’s science contributions to the global industry by raw number seems to be shrinking. The report also indicates that while the trend is a decrease by count, the U.S. still retains a healthy footing worldwide with the relative impact of its research.

Thomson Reuters, reporting in the January/February issue of its Science Watch, first noted in 2005 that American output was dropping, while Asia-Pacific’s growth was upward bound. It took a look at 12 years of data from one of its databases to “determine the U.S.’s global scientific influence based on the nation’s research output and impact.” It noted the trends continue.

According to Thomson Reuters, in 2005 the U.S. contributed 32.8 percent of global research; by 2007 its share slid to 31.5 percent. During the same period, Asia-Pacific’s share increased from 25.9 percent to 28.2 percent. In all 21 science fields looked at however, the U.S. tended to surpass the world average in citation impact. This is especially true for in the areas of physics, chemistry and materials science.

“It is important to note that measuring scientific output is only one way to measure a country’s influence in the sciences,” said Christopher King, editor of Science Watch. “Because citations are an acknowledgement of intellectual debt, we also evaluate a country’s citation impact. The U.S.’s citation impact has remained strong in the major science fields.”