The emergence of China as a leading nation in science

  • Zhou P
  • Leydesdorff L
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Abstract

China has become the fifth leading nation in terms of its share of the world's scientific publications. The citation rate of papers with a Chinese address for the corresponding author also exhibits exponential growth. More specifically, China has become a major player in critical technologies like nanotechnology. Although it is difficult to delineate nanoscience and nanotechnology, we show that China has recently achieved a position second only to that of the USA. Funding for R&D has been growing exponentially, but since 1997 even more in terms of business expenditure than in terms of government expenditure. It seems that the Chinese government has effectively used the public-sector research potential to boost the knowledge-based economy of the country. Thus, China may be achieving the ("Lisbon") objectives of the transition to a knowledge-based economy more broadly and rapidly than its western counterparts. Because of the sustained increase in Chinese government funding and the virtually unlimited reservoir of highly skilled human resources, one may expect a continuation of this growth pattern in the near future. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Citations
  • Highly cited papers
  • Nanotechnology
  • Publications
  • World share

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