UK research ranks high

The UK’s research base remains second only to the United States in terms of its achievements, productivity and efficiency, according to a study released by the Department for Trade and Industry.

Science and Innovation Minister Lord Sainsbury said the “Public Service Agreement Target Metrics for the UK Research Base 2005” study into the outputs and outcomes from UK science confirms the continued success of UK research base.

The study was undertaken by Evidence on behalf of the Office of Science and Technology and included publications, recognition and citations.

“The UK produces nine per cent of the world’s scientific papers and has a citation share of 12 per cent, second only to the USA,” Lord Sainsbury said.

“The study also shows that the UK continued to strengthen its share of the world’s most influential papers, from 12.9 per cent to 13.2 per cent.

“China and some smaller nations are rapidly increasing their global share of publications and citations but the study shows the UK continues to maintain world share and benefits from a consistently good performance across disciplines.”

The report shows that the UK share of high-quality papers is increasing, with 13 per cent world share of the highest impact papers. The UK is ranked in the top three in eight scientific disciplines – biological, clinical, environmental, humanities, maths, pre-clinical and health, social sciences and business.

The report also showed that the UK’s share of PhD awards is up to 10 per cent within Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The UK’s strong performance has been achieved with relatively lower investment than competitors.

“This report shows the continued strength of UK science, not just in specific areas, but across the full range of scientific disciplines from engineering and physical sciences right through to the arts and humanities,” Lord Sainsbury said.