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

Information in the bibliographic database used here was compiled using the Thomson Reuters Web of Science service.

French publications are those where at least one of the authors is based in a laboratory located in France. If an article is produced by a single laboratory (for example, one in France), then one point is awarded to France. However, if the article is co-authored by two laboratories in two different countries, then half a point is awarded to each country. This type of fractional calculation measures a country's contribution to worldwide production.

The indicators are calculated year-on-year over three years (thus the value given for 2013 is the average of the values for 2011, 2012 and 2013).

A country's world share of publications is the ratio between the number of publications produced by a country in a given year and the number of publications produced worldwide in the same year (as listed in the database).

A country's immediate impact index is the ratio between its share of citations worldwide over two years, including the year of publication, and its share of publications worldwide.

A country's share of international publications is the ratio between the number of publications produced by a country involving international collaboration and its total number of publications, using a full count (if an article is produced by a laboratory, a full point is awarded to the country).

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.

France's affinity index with a country is the share of international co-publications by France and this country, weighted by the partner country's share of international co-publications worldwide.

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47 France's position in the world in terms of scientific publications

This page has been updated. Read 47. France's worldwide position in terms of scientific publications in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

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.

In 2013, the United States produced more than one fifth of scientific publications worldwide (21.6%), followed by China (14.4%), the United Kingdom (5.1%) Germany (5%) and Japan (4.8%) (chart 47.01). France was in sixth place (3.5%) ahead of India, Italy (both at 3.2%) and Canada (3%). Among the countries whose world share of publications increased most between 2008 and 2013 were Iran, a country with limited scientific production but whose share doubled, China, whose share rose by more than 70%, India and Brazil, whose share increased by about 20%, and South Korea whose share climbed by 12%. The world shares of Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and France recorded a decline of between -15% and -24%.

The redistribution of scientific production worldwide, and especially the decline in the share of seven of the top eight producing countries, is now established. While the United States' world share has been declining over the last twenty years, for France, its European counterparts - Germany and the United Kingdom - and Japan this erosion started later, between 1999 and 2003 (chart 47.02a). Together, these five countries accounted for about 58% of publications worldwide in 2001, but only 40% in 2013. The rise of China, Brazil, India and other countries with fast-growing scientific development is the reason for the decline in the share of world production by the traditional big scientific countries.

In contrast to their world share, the impact of publications from the foremost producer countries increased between 2001 and 2013. For France, Germany and the United Kingdom, visibility increased by at least 17%, although that of France lagged slightly behind that of the other two countries (chart 47.02b). During this same period, the United States and Japan maintained their level of visibility. China advanced not only in its share of publications but also in visibility; nevertheless its impact index, which increased by 58% between 2001 and 2013, was still considerably below the world average.

In 2013, with more than 50% of publications involving at least one laboratory abroad (chart 47.03), France had the highest rate of international collaboration, just ahead of the United Kingdom and Germany. Next came Canada, Italy and the United States (31.8%). The share of international publications from the four Asian countries (Japan, China, India and South Korea) ranged from around 19% to 27%. Between 2008 and 2013, the international collaboration rate increased more than 20% for the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, 18% for France, while that of China stagnated.

In 2013, the 28 countries of the European Union (excluding France) were involved in more than half of France's international co-publications (table 47.04). The United States was involved in more than a quarter of France's co-publications. Within the European Union, Germany and the United Kingdom are almost level, with involvement in more than 17% of France's co-publications. Next came other countries which are geographically close: Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

The affinity index, which relates to international co-publications and takes country size into account (see Methodology), reveals some close partnership ties formed through linguistic similarities or geographic proximity, just as France has with Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Spain (index significantly higher than 1).

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How to cite this paper :

LAVILLE Françoise, ROTH Chris, TAILLIBERT Marie-Laure. France's position in the world 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, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 47, 104-105 [Accessed 06/19/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_R_47-france_s_position_in_the_world_in_terms_of_scientific_publications.php

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Information in the bibliographic database used here was compiled using the Thomson Reuters Web of Science service.

French publications are those where at least one of the authors is based in a laboratory located in France. If an article is produced by a single laboratory (for example, one in France), then one point is awarded to France. However, if the article is co-authored by two laboratories in two different countries, then half a point is awarded to each country. This type of fractional calculation measures a country's contribution to worldwide production.

The indicators are calculated year-on-year over three years (thus the value given for 2013 is the average of the values for 2011, 2012 and 2013).

A country's world share of publications is the ratio between the number of publications produced by a country in a given year and the number of publications produced worldwide in the same year (as listed in the database).

A country's immediate impact index is the ratio between its share of citations worldwide over two years, including the year of publication, and its share of publications worldwide.

A country's share of international publications is the ratio between the number of publications produced by a country involving international collaboration and its total number of publications, using a full count (if an article is produced by a laboratory, a full point is awarded to the country).

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.

France's affinity index with a country is the share of international co-publications by France and this country, weighted by the partner country's share of international co-publications worldwide.

 

47.01 World share of publications by the main producing countries, all subject areas combined (2013 and change from 2008 to 2013) 1

  
North America
Asia
Europe
France
Oceania
South America
 
 

1 Only countries whose share is greater than or equal to 1% are shown.

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47.02a Scientific publications by the top six producing countries (change from 2001 to 2013, all subject areas combined) - World share of publications

  
United States
China
Japan
Germany
United Kingdom
France
 
 

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47.02b Scientific publications by the top six producing countries (change from 2001 to 2013, all subject areas combined) - Immediate impact index

  
United States
China
Japan
Germany
United Kingdom
France
 
 

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47.03 Share of international co-publications, all subject areas combined, by the top ten producing countries (2008 and 2013)

US
 
GB
JP
IN
CA
 
 
CN
DE
FR
IT
 
KR
  
2008
2013
 
 

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47.04 Share of France's international copublications and affinity index with the top ten partner countries, all subject areas combined (2013)

 
Rank Share of France's international co-publications in 2013 (%) Affinity index (2013)
with France
European Union of 28 (excluding France) 1 57.9 nd
United States 2 26.6 0.65
Germany 3 17.7 1.05
United Kingdom 4 17.5 0.97
Italy 5 13.7 1.53
Spain 6 11.2 1.39
Switzerland 7 8.5 1.48
Canada 8 8.2 0.84
Netherlands 9 7.7 1.14
Belgium 10 7.6 1.86

 

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Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
47 - France's worldwide position in terms of scientific publications - Tessa Enock Levi, Françoise Laville & Frédérique Sachwald
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 [Consult the following page]
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]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
47 - le positionnement de la France dans le monde par ses publications scientifiques - Françoise Laville, Chris Roth & Marie-Laure Taillibert
En 2013, la France se situe au 6e rang mondial avec 3,5 % des publications scientifiques du monde. Comme ses grands homologues européens, elle affiche une part de publications en baisse mais un indice d’impact en progression et supérieur à la moyenne mondiale. Parmi les 10 premiers pays du monde, la France présente le plus fort taux de collaboration internationale. L’Union européenne et les États-Unis sont ses premiers partenaires scientifiques [Consult the following page in french]


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