We have heard a lot that China is catching up fast in research and development and USA will no longer be the leader in future. But to my surprise, China is already way ahead of USA in terms of number of publications in 2012. China published twice as many research articles in the filed of engineering as compared to USA. China’s publications jumped to over 90,000 in 2012 as compared to 45,232 publications of USA.
Research publications in 2012: China. vs. USA
Figure below shows total number of publications from 1996-2012. While USA still holds the top spot with 757,240 publications over these 16 years, the things may change in coming years when we see the research trends in the figure above.
Total publications in engineering from 1996-2012
However the pictures is not as rosy as it looks. H-index, a parameter that shows the productivity of the research, is still much below the USA. Also the citations per document in almost three times lower than that of USA.
International Collaboration in Engineering research
China probably has the lowest rate of international collaboration among all the countries and the situation has not improved much over the last one and a half decade. Currently the china has around 10% papers in the filed of engineering that has authors from more than one country (This is how the international collaboration is measured) as compared to around 31% of USA.
International collaboration in engineering from 1996-2012
Engineering research Breakdown by discipline
Data Source: SJR