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Despite Decline in Share of Global Output, U.S. Science Impact Still Strong, Says Thomson Reuters
Date:1/28/2009

PHILADELPHIA and LONDON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Scientific business of Thomson Reuters today announced the results of a study showing that the United States' share of scientific research output continues to shrink while Asia-Pacific's share of output rises. Nevertheless, the U.S. retains a healthy footing globally in the relative impact of its research.

In its January/February issue of Science Watch, Thomson Reuters analyzes 12 year's worth of data from its National Science Indicators database to determine the U.S.'s global scientific influence based on the nation's research output and impact.

In 2005, Science Watch noted that the U.S.'s output, as a percentage of world science, was in decline, with Asia-Pacific's output steadily rising. This latest analysis shows the trends continuing. 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.

"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."

In all 21 science fields analyzed for this report, the U.S. markedly surpassed the world average in citation impact. Topping the list was Physics, where the U.S. exceeded the world mark by 55 percent, followed by Chemistry and Materials Science where the U.S. exceeded the world by 52 percent and 47 percent, respectively.

For more information about U.S. research output and impact, including expert analysis, visit ScienceWatch.com.


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