Sunday, April 17, 2011

China's Rising Scientific Output Double Edged

In recent years, the Chinese government has urged scientists to publish in reputable English-language journals, offering promotions and other rewards as an incentive.

This incentive is paying off big. The number of papers by scholars based in China published in Science Citation Index (SCI)-listed journals has quadrupled. The jump happened as China overtook other countries in output. In 2007, it passed Japan to become second in the world—behind only the United States—in number of papers published in indexed journals.

Many Chinese universities, meanwhile, have become keen on boosting their showing in Shanghai Jiao Tong University's ranking of world universities, which, though itself a Chinese invention, heavily weights publication in Science and Nature.

However, there is a downside to China's rising international profile. It will become increasingly difficult for Chinese journals to attract stellar research. Furthermore, publishing the country's best stuff overseas is damaging to Chinese scholarship.

An article in China Youth Daily, reprinted by the state news agency Xinhua, called the outflow of research to foreign journals "embarrassing."

But Chinese scientists believe that the recent increase in papers published outside China should be celebrated rather than criticized.

See full article by Mara Hvistendahl in ScienceInsider April 12 2011.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Zain Kenya

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