China's research tops Nature Index global rankings


China ranked first for the first time in the contribution ratings of Nature Index in 2022, reflecting the country's outstanding publication of science-based papers in high-quality journals in the year.

The latest data on author affiliations from the 82 journals tracked by the Nature Index showed that China had a share of 19,373 from January to December 2022, followed by the United States with 17,610.

Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan followed with 4,193, 3,258 and 2,742, respectively.

According to an article published on Nature's official website on Friday, it is also the first time that China overtook the U.S. as the top-ranking country for contributions to research articles published by the Nature Index journal group, including Nature, Science and Cell.

A country's share takes into account the percentage of authors from that nation on each paper published in the Nature Index journals. An article published entirely by China-based researchers would yield a share of one for China.

Since the Nature Index was introduced in November 2014, China's share has rapidly gained ground, and it also took the leading position in 2021 in physical sciences and chemistry.

Sun Hanjun, a professor at the School of Chemistry and Materials Science at Nanjing Normal University, said the latest ranking indicates the steady improvement of China's overall basic research level, especially in terms of volume, which is conducive to the incubation of high-end original innovations.

It is also necessary to establish a long-term evaluation mechanism that is in line with national conditions and high-quality development goals to distinguish constructive ideas that solve key problems for the country and bring significant benefits to society, according to Wang Zhiheng, deputy dean of the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences at Beijing University.

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