This study investigates the scientific output and publication patterns of Korean biotechnology before and after the start of the Korean Biotechnology Stimulation Plans (1994-2007), and then compares the results with publication data from the same time periods for Japan, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan and Singapore. For this study, 14,704 publications, published by at least one researcher from one of the five Asian nations (indexed by SCI Expanded during the years 1990-1993 and the years 2000-2003), were considered. A marked increase of Korean research output in biotechnology was largely influenced by an increasing tendency for researchers to enter the field of biotechnology and by increased expenditures for R&D activity through the Korean Biotechnology Stimulation Plans. In addition, the SCI Expanded coverage of national journals affected the scientific output and publication patterns of Japanese and Korean researchers. Looking at the Korean publications by collaboration type, international collaboration leads to more publications in mainstream journals of high impact factors than local and domestic collaborations for the two periods. However, although the Korean Biotechnology Stimulation Plans were followed by a remarkable increase in South Korea's research output, this increase has not been accompanied by growth in the quality of those publications in terms of impact factors of journals for Korean publications.
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