Daniel Lemire's blog

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China: the new scientific superpower?

12 thoughts on “China: the new scientific superpower?”

  1. Leon Palafox says:

    I know it is hard to track, but I would be interesting to check where those citations come from.

    In my experience, Asian scholars tend to cite themselves a lot, that is Chinese cite Chinese, and I’ve been founding more aand more Chinese ill written paper with terrible grammar and terrible citation formats.

  2. John Regehr says:

    Just in the last year or two I’ve started seeing very well-written papers where all authors are at Chinese institutions.

  3. @Itman

    This only includes journal articles and not conference or workshop papers. Moreover, I have limited my investigation to journals in the broad “Information Systems” category. I also expect that whatever heuristic they use to determine where the authors are from is likely to be error-prone. And, of course, they do not index everything.

    Yet there is no denying the numbers that we see here.

  4. @Ankit and @naysayer

    Even if we were faced with a massive case of gaming the numbers through fraud, it would still be impressive.

  5. Itman says:

    How representative are these numbers? For instance, Chile has only 27 citations. Yet, I checked only a couple of articles of a single well-known Chilean author. Only those 2 articles (for 2009) alone have about 30 citations.
    PS: Yes, China is clearly becoming a scientific superpower.

  6. The driveby naysayer says:

    You may be missing something from your calculations:


  7. Ankit says:

    There is very little confidence in Chinese research among the international community. Many many experiments have results which could not be duplicated by cutting edge labs.

    Fang Zhouzi is a Chinese whistle blower who has been severely criticized for exposing the Chinese “research”.



  8. @anon

    They are all English journals. Overwhelmingly, they are journals operated in the West (Europe and North America).

  9. anon says:

    What language are these articles being published in? Is this a rise in Chinese authors publishing in English or is this Chinese authors publishing in Chinese?

  10. @OC

    I suspect that if Chinese researchers go back to China, it is because China is doing something right.

  11. OC says:

    “Whatever policies China is putting in place, it has a dramatic effect on its scientific output.”

    Have you considered that it is US policies that have this effect? By encouraging Chinese scholars to return to China?

  12. East Asian says:

    Not just citations. There are more and more Chinese publishers on scientific journals (published in English) which have gained international recognition with high impact factors. Take for example, Comm. Comput. Phy. These high quality Chinese journals are attracting Chinese authors residing overseas to make contributions to their own journals.

    Just look at the recent technological achievements of China:
    1. Fastest supercomputer in the world.
    2. Manned space flight and lunar exploration.
    3. Anti-satellite space kinetic weaponry.
    4. Fastest railway in the world.
    5. Anti-aircraft carrier ballistic missile.
    6. Fifth generation stealth fighter.

    On the contrary, many scientists in the west are merely publishing for the sake of publication and use all kinds of tactics to solicit citations for their articles. I once had my article reviewed by someone who kept commenting that I should cite his papers even though they are not exactly related to my paper.