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Performance and Structures of the German Science System 2012

: Michels, Carolin; Fu, Junying; Neuhäusler, Peter; Frietsch, Rainer
: Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung -ISI-, Karlsruhe

Berlin: EFI, 2013, 55 pp.
Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem, 6-2013
Fraunhofer ISI ()

Publications in an international comparison
In the past 10 years, Germany has showed a continuously increasing trend and always been ranked in the fourth or third place worldwide in terms of the number of publications and cita-tions respectively. German authors contribute 7.2% of total scientific publications but receive 9.8% of total citations in 2009. Similar to other large industrialized countries, Germany's share of publications has reduced slowly but constantly during the last decade due to the dramatic growth trends in threshold countries, first of all China. However, the German share in publica-tions has been rather stable since 2008. Germany displays an increasingly upward trend in its citation rate, which is distinctly above the world average. Germany's citation rates without non-English papers have always been beyond the Great Britain's level, and reached a similar high level like the USA in the last two years. Considering the indices Scientific Regard (SR) and International Alignment (IA), Germany's IA index has promoted up to 26, a value at a similar level as Great Britain, implying German scientists have increasingly released their achievements to the international community in journals with higher visibility; although it had always been similar to those for other leading industrialized countries like the United States in previous years, German SR value experiences a large margin decline in 2009, which is caused by both its comparative rise of expected citations and its comparative fall of observed citations. Smaller European countries like Switzerland present high SR as well as IA values. As to the disciplinary profile, Germany shows high specialization values in "nuclear technology", "medical engineer-ing", "geo-science" and "biotechnology", displaying a portfolio that differs from those of China and Great Britain.
Concerning publication activities of BRICS, China has become the second largest paper pro-ducer, while its citation rate remains below the world average as do those of other threshold countries. Russia is an exception compared with other BRICS countries showing obviously and continually decreasing shares of publications and citations partly because of its relative inde-pendent native language scientific community. China and South Africa show very positive SR values in combination with still very negative IA values due to publications in journals with limited international visibility.
International co-publications
Germany's absolute number as well as the share of internationally co-authored publications in-creased in the last years. However, a similar statement also holds for most other countries. Non-etheless, the increase in collaboration is especially observable after 2008. German co-authorships with EU and BRICS countries were especially intensified in the recent period.
International collaborations most frequently happen in fields of German non-specialization, i.e. Food and Nutrition, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Computers, "Ecology and Climate", Agriculture and Forestry. One explanation could be that the number of potential collaboration partners is re-stricted within Germany, but high outside Germany. Vice versa, the shares of co-authored pub-lications are lower in those scientific fields, in which Germany is specialized and which play an outstanding role in the German profile. Finding national co-authors might be easier here.