Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

The information from the bibliographic database used was compiled using the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science service (previously Thomson Reuters IP & Science Division). A scientific publication is generally produced through collaboration between researchers and therefore has several institutional addresses from different countries. The contribution of each country to the publication is considered here by counting 1/N for each address, with N the number of addresses in the different countries.

A country’s publications are those for which at least one of the authors is located in this country.

A country’s worldwide share of publications is the ratio between the number of publications produced by a country and the number of publications produced worldwide.

A country’s impact index is the ratio between its share of worldwide citations after two years and its worldwide share of publications. The impact index is standardised per specific subject area to take account of the disciplinary structure of each country.

A country’s specialisation index in a field of education is the ratio between its worldwide share of publications in this field of education and its share in all fields of education.

France’s share of international co-publications with a country is the ratio between the number of co-publications by France and this country and the total number of France’s international co-publications, using a full count. Conversely, the share of international co-publications of France’s partner country is defined as the ratio between the number of the country's co-publications with France and the total number of this partner’s international co-publications.

The robustness of indicators is boosted by calculating them as a smoothed annual average over three years (the value for 2015 is the average of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 values).

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47 France's worldwide position in terms of scientific publications

France was ranked seventh in terms of production of scientific publications in 2015. As for other high-income countries, its worldwide share (3.3% in 2015) has tended to fall since the emergence of new scientific powers, but the impact of its publications has increased. France has a high rate of international collaboration, in line with that of Germany and the United Kingdom. The European Union and the United States are its foremost scientific partners.

In a context of increased numbers of publications (+ 64% from 2005 to 2015), the redistribution of worldwide scientific production has now been established (chart 47.01). The share of the United States and the European Union is in decline despite a rise in the number of their publications. Japan shows both a decline in its share and in the number of its publications. The share of countries with fast-growing scientific development continues to increase. China achieved a share of 16% in 2015 and the number of publications from South Korea and India has doubled in ten years. In total, the worldwide share of advanced scientific countries is falling back despite the rise in the number of their scientific publications.

France is in third position among European countries with 3.3% of its worldwide publications, after the United Kingdom (4.9%) and Germany (4.8%). The worldwide share of publications by these three countries has fallen by more than 20% since 2005. Italy and Spain, whose shares of publications are today closing in on France, have different trajectories. The share of Italian publications fell from 2005 to 2012 and has now settled at around 3.2%. Spain's share, on the other hand, increased between 2005 and 2012, although this has dropped slightly subsequently, to reach 2.7% in 2015 (chart 47.02).

The scientific impact of publications from the main western producers (impact index standardised per specific subject area) is still higher than for the Asian countries (chart 47.03). Switzerland and the United States have the highest impact indices, which have been stable for ten years. The United Kingdom has seen a significant increase in its impact index up to 2012, bringing it closer to the United States. The French and Italian impact indices, which were below the global average in 2005, have increased significantly to bring them closer to the German impact index. The impact indices of China and of South Korea have increased substantially, but are still considerably below the global average. The Japanese impact index has eroded and dropped below the Korean and Chinese indices.

Among the leading ten publishing countries in the world, France has one of the highest international co-publication rates, equivalent to that of the United Kingdom and Germany. The number of international co-publications are increasing at global scale but in different ways depending on the countries. In 2015, the rate of publications involving at least one laboratory abroad was more than 50% for France and many other European countries. The United States has a lower share of international co-publications (35%), mainly due to their size. Their international co-publications have nevertheless increased dramatically since 2005 (+60%). The share of international co-publications from Asian countries is significantly lower - between 21% and 28% for Japan, China, India and South Korea. Japan has expanded its collaborations considerably (+40% from 2005 to 2015), but China has seen them stagnate (+5.4% from 2005 to 2015).

In 2015, France’s foremost partner country was the United States, with more than a quarter of French co-publications, before Germany and the United Kingdom, its foremost European partners (chart 47.05). The United States, United Kingdom and Germany are more important partners for France than France is for them. Conversely, France is a more important partner for Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, the Netherlands and above all Belgium. There are still very few co-publications with China.

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How to cite this paper :

ENOCK LEVI Tessa, LAVILLE Françoise, SACHWALD Frédérique. France's worldwide position in terms of scientific publications. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2017. 10th ed. Chapter 47 [Accessed 06/16/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-152033-2. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/10EN/EESR10EN_R_47-france_s_worldwide_position_in_terms_of_scientific_publications.php

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The information from the bibliographic database used was compiled using the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science service (previously Thomson Reuters IP & Science Division). A scientific publication is generally produced through collaboration between researchers and therefore has several institutional addresses from different countries. The contribution of each country to the publication is considered here by counting 1/N for each address, with N the number of addresses in the different countries.

A country’s publications are those for which at least one of the authors is located in this country.

A country’s worldwide share of publications is the ratio between the number of publications produced by a country and the number of publications produced worldwide.

A country’s impact index is the ratio between its share of worldwide citations after two years and its worldwide share of publications. The impact index is standardised per specific subject area to take account of the disciplinary structure of each country.

A country’s specialisation index in a field of education is the ratio between its worldwide share of publications in this field of education and its share in all fields of education.

France’s share of international co-publications with a country is the ratio between the number of co-publications by France and this country and the total number of France’s international co-publications, using a full count. Conversely, the share of international co-publications of France’s partner country is defined as the ratio between the number of the country's co-publications with France and the total number of this partner’s international co-publications.

The robustness of indicators is boosted by calculating them as a smoothed annual average over three years (the value for 2015 is the average of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 values).

 

47.01 Number of publications and world share of publications in 2005, 2010 and 2015 - all subject areas combined (thousand of publications, %)

2005
2010
2015
  
European Union
United States
Japan
China
India
South Korea
Other countries
 
 
 

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47.02 Scientific publications by top seven producing european countries (change from 2005 to 2015, all subject areas combined) - World share of publications (%)

  
United Kingdom
Germany
France
Italy
Spain
Netherlands
Switzerland
 
 
 

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47.03 Change in impact index of top producing countries between 2005 and 2015

  
Switzerland
United States
Denmark
United Kingdom
Germany
Italy
France
China
South Korea
Japan
India
 
 
 

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47.04 Share of international co-publications, all subject areas combined, by the top ten producing countries (2005 and 2015) 1

GB
 
DE
IT
KR
CN
 
 
FR
CA
US
JP
 
IN
  
2005
2015
 
 

1 Count of presence, three-year moving average.

 

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47.05 France's international copublications with France major partner countries (2015) 1

United States
Germany
United Kingdom
Italy
Spain
Switzerland
Canada
Netherlands
Belgiium
China
  
Share of France's partner's countries international co-publications with France (%)
Share of France's international co-publications with its major partner countries (%)
 
 

1 count of presence.

 

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Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
48 - France's worldwide position in terms of scientific publications - Tessa Enock Levi, Françoise Laville, Chris Roth & Marie-Laure Taillibert
In 2014, France was ranked 6th in the world with 3.3% of all scientific publications worldwide. Like its major European counterparts, the country's share of publications is in decline, but its impact index is increasing and is above the world average. Of the top 10 countries in the world, France has the highest rate of international collaboration. The European Union and the United States are France's foremost scientific partners [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 8th edition - November 2015
47 - France's position in the world in terms of scientific publications - Françoise Laville, Chris Roth & Marie-Laure Taillibert
In 2013, France was ranked 6th in the world with 3.5% of all scientific publications worldwide. Like its major European counterparts, the country's share of publications is in decline, but its impact index is increasing and is above the world average. Of the top 10 countries in the world, France has the highest rate of international collaboration. The European Union and the United States are France's foremost scientific partners [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°10 - Avril 2017
47 - le positionnement scientifique de la France à travers ses publications - Tessa Enock Levi, Françoise Laville & Frédérique Sachwald
En 2015, la France se place au 7e rang en termes de production de publications scientifiques. Comme pour les autres pays à hauts revenus, sa part mondiale (3,3 % en 2015) a tendance à baisser depuis l’émergence de nouvelles puissances scientifiques mais l’impact de ses publications se renforce. La France présente un fort taux de collaboration internationale, comparable à celui de l’Allemagne et du Royaume-Uni. L’Union européenne et les États-Unis sont ses premiers partenaires scientifiques [Consult the following page in french]


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