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

The information from the bibliographic database used was compiled using the Thomson Reuters Web of Science service.

French publications are those where at least one of the authors is based at 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. To lessen fluctuations linked to changes in scientific journals, the indicators are calculated over a three-year average (the value given for 2014 is therefore the average value for 2012, 2013 and 2014).

A country's share of worldwide 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).

The share of (immediate) citations after 2 years is calculated over two years, including the year of publication.

A country's observed (immediate) impact index after 2 years is the ratio between its share of worldwide citations after 2 years and its share of worldwide publications.

A country's expected (immediate) impact index after 2 years is the impact index that the country would have if its publications were cited as much as the publication in the journals in which it publishes (taking into account the reputation of those journals).

A country's specialisation index is the ratio between its share of worldwide publications in a specific subject area and its share of worldwide publications in all subject areas.

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47 France's scientific publications

This page has been updated. Read 46. France's scientific profil through its publications in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

In 2014, France accounted for 3.3% of worldwide scientific publications in all subject areas combined. Although French research shows a marked specialisation in the broad subject area of Mathematics and that of 'Astronomy and Astrophysics', its publications are most cited at international level in the subject areas of 'Agriculture and Plant Biology', 'Civil and Mining Engineering' and 'Agri-Food'.

In 2014, France accounted for 3.3% of scientific publications produced worldwide in all subject areas combined and its share of immediate citations (after two years) was 3.8%. At 1.12, its immediate impact index (ratio of its share of citations to its share of publications) is higher than the worldwide average which is 1 by definition (chart 47.01).

In the early 1990s, the share of worldwide publications produced by France increased to more than 5% in 1995, after which it remained stable. From 1999, this share fell continuously, due in large part to the arrival of new countries on the international scientific scene. This marked decline from 1999 to 2005 slowed between 2005 and 2010, but has become more noticeable since 2010, when it resumed the trend observed in the early 2000s. Its world share of citations after 2 years also fell during this period, albeit to a lesser extent. As a result, France's impact index has improved significantly over the period as a whole, increasing from 0.91 in 1993 to 1.12 in 2014.

France's disciplinary profile has changed little between 2009 and 2014. It appears balanced, with the exception of a marked specialisation in Mathematics (where it has a specialisation index of 1.57) and despecialisation in Social Sciences (where it has an index of 0.57). Its specialisation indices are greater than 1 in Physics and Astro-sciences and lower than 1 in Applied Biology - Ecology and Chemistry (chart 47.02). Over the period, France increased its specialisation index in Social Sciences (+17%) and Astro-Sciences (+7%). By contrast, its specialisation factors in Chemistry fell by 6%.

In 2014, with the exception of Social Sciences, Humanities and Mathematics, the visibility of French publications (observed impact index) and that of the scientific journals in which they were published (expected impact index) were higher than the worldwide average in all subject areas. The average visibility of French publications was highest in the fields of Applied Biology and Ecology and, to a lesser degree, Astro-Sciences, Chemistry and Physics. It was also in these broad subject areas, together with Engineering Sciences, that French publications appeared in journals with higher international visibility. Between 2009 and 2014, France's observed impact index and expected impact index increased for all major subject areas, with the exception of Mathematics and Engineering Sciences. The visibility of French publications and that of the journals in which they were published increased most in the fields of Medical Research, Applied Biology and Ecology and Social Sciences and Humanities (table 47.03).

In 2014, France accounted for more than 5% of worldwide publications in Mathematics and 'Astronomy and Astrophysics' (table 47.04a). However, between 2009 and 2014, France's share of worldwide publications declined in most of its top ten publication subject areas in Life and Physical Sciences.

In 2014, France's impact index was greater than 1.25 in five subject areas (table 47.04b). Between 2009 and 2014, the visibility of French publications increased overall in the subject areas in which it is most visible and, in particular, by more than 15% in 'Civil and Mining Engineering' and 'Surgery, Gastro-enterology, urology'. France had a strong presence and its publications were most visible in 'Geosciences' and 'General Physics'.

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How to cite this paper :

ENOCK LEVI Tessa, LAVILLE Françoise, ROTH Chris, TAILLIBERT Marie-Laure. France's scientific publications. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 50 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2016. 9th ed. Chapter 47 [Accessed 08/18/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-151572-7. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/9EN/EESR9EN_R_47-france_s_scientific_publications.php

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The information from the bibliographic database used was compiled using the Thomson Reuters Web of Science service.

French publications are those where at least one of the authors is based at 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. To lessen fluctuations linked to changes in scientific journals, the indicators are calculated over a three-year average (the value given for 2014 is therefore the average value for 2012, 2013 and 2014).

A country's share of worldwide 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).

The share of (immediate) citations after 2 years is calculated over two years, including the year of publication.

A country's observed (immediate) impact index after 2 years is the ratio between its share of worldwide citations after 2 years and its share of worldwide publications.

A country's expected (immediate) impact index after 2 years is the impact index that the country would have if its publications were cited as much as the publication in the journals in which it publishes (taking into account the reputation of those journals).

A country's specialisation index is the ratio between its share of worldwide publications in a specific subject area and its share of worldwide publications in all subject areas.

 

Key figures


France's world share of publications
3.3%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Coverage: all subjects combined
Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
France's world share of citations for articles published within previous 2 years
3.8%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Coverage: all subjects combined
Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
Impact index within 2 years for French publications
1.12
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Coverage: all subjects combined
Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
France's world share of publications in Mathematics
5.3%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
  See more key figures  
France's world share of publications in Astronomy, astrophysics
5.2%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
France's world share of publications in Geosciences
4.6%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
France's world share of publications in Microbiology and virology, immunology
4.7%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
France's world share of publications in General Physics
4.5%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
  See more key figures  
France's world share of publications in Cardiology, pneumology
4.1%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
France's world share of publications in Reproduction, developmental biology
4.1%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
France's world share of publications in Particle and nuclear physics
3.9%
 
2014
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
Change in France's world share of publications in Mathematics
- 13%
 
2014 against 2009
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
  See more key figures  
Change in France's world share of publications in Astronomy, astrophysics
- 8%
 
2014 against 2009
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
Change in France's world share of publications in Geosciences
- 8%
 
2014 against 2009
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
Change in France's world share of publications in Microbiology and virology, immunology
- 9%
 
2014 against 2009
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
Change in France's world share of publications in General Physics
- 7%
 
2014 against 2009
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
  See more key figures  
Change in France's world share of publications in Cardiology, pneumology
- 9%
 
2014 against 2009
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
Change in France's world share of publications in Reproduction, developmental biology
- 12%
 
2014 against 2009
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes
Change in France's world share of publications in Particle and nuclear physics
- 11%
 
2014 against 2009
 
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Extract from the chapter "47. France's scientific publications".

Source: OST from HCERES, special tabulations of Thomson Reuters citation indexes

47.01 France's share of worldwide publications and citations and impact factor after 2 years, all subject areas combined (between 2001 and 2014)

Share of publications
Share of citations after 2 years
Impact index after 2 years
 
 

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47.02 France's specialisation factor, by subject area (2009 and 2014)


2009
2014
 
 

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47.03 France's expected impact index after 2 years and observed impact index after 2 years, by subject area (2009 to 2014)

 
2009 2014
Observed impact index after 2 years Expected impact index after 2 years Observed impact index after 2 years Expected impact index after 2 years
Pure biology 0.99 1.05 1.05 1.09
Medical research 0.94 0.92 1.08 1.07
Applied biology -Ecology 1.38 1.35 1.51 1.45
Chemistry 1.14 1.21 1.15 1.30
Physics 1.11 1.14 1.16 1.18
Astrophysical Sciences 1.12 1.06 1.20 1.14
Engineering Sciences 1.09 1.09 1.04 1.15
Mathematics 1.00 1.03 1.00 1.11
Human Sciences 0.48 0.50 0.58 0.63
Social Sciences 0.78 0.89 0.89 1.00
 

In 2009, the visibility of French publications (observed impact index, Y-axis) in the field of astrophysical sciences was greater than the average visibility of papers published in the same journals (expected impact index, X-axis), both of which were close to the worldwide average of 1. Between 2009 and 2014, the visibility of publications in the field of astrophysical sciences and that of the journals in which they were published increased and significantly exceeded the worldwide average for this subject area.

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47.04a France's share of worldwide publications and observed impact index after 2 years (in 2014 and between 2009 and 2014) in its leading publication subject areas within physical and life sciences

 
World share of publications (%) Observed impact index
after 2 years 2014
2014 Change 2014/2009
(%)
Mathematics 5.3 -13 1.00
Astronomy, astrophysics 5.2 -8 1.05
Microbiology and virology, immunology 4.7 -9 1.07
Geosciences 4.6 -8 1.23
General physics 4.5 -7 1.29
Reproduction and developmental biology 4.1 -12 1.00
Cardiology, pneumology 4.1 -9 1.09
Particle and nuclear physics 3.9 -11 1.16
Information and communication science and technology 3.8 -15 0.85
Solid-state physics 3.7 -14 0.99
All subject areas 3.3 -16 1.12

 

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47.04b France's share of worldwide publications and observed impact index after 2 years (in 2014 and between 2009 and 2014) in its most visible subject areas within physical and life sciences

 
World share of publications 2014 (%) Observed impact index after 2 years
2014 Change 2014/2009 (%)
Agriculture, plant biology 2.9 1.65 +5
Civil and mining engineering 2.3 1.56 +20
Ecology and marine biology 3.0 1.43 +9
Agri-food 2.3 1.41 +12
General physics 4.5 1.29 +10
General chemistry 2.7 1.25 -5
Geosciences 4.6 1.23 +1
Materials, polymers 2.7 1.22 +14
Organic, mineral and nuclear chemistry 3.7 1.18 0
Surgery, gastro-enterology, urology 3.6 1.17 +24
All subject areas 3.3 1.12 +7

 

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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
46 - France's scientific profil through its publications - Tessa Enock Levi, Françoise Laville & Frédérique Sachwald
In 2015, France showed a balanced profile in terms of fields of education which was nevertheless qualified by a major specialisation in mathematics. France stood out clearly from the United Kingdom and United States, which specialise more in Human and Social Sciences, and the Asian countries with a more divergent profile, as they are highly specialised in some fields of education and very little in others [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 8th edition - November 2015
46 - France's scientific publications - Françoise Laville, Chris Roth & Marie-Laure Taillibert
In 2013, France accounted for 3.5% of worldwide scientific publications in all subject areas combined. Although French research shows a marked specialisation in the broad subject area of Mathematics and that of 'Astronomy and Astrophysics', its publications are most cited at international level in the subject areas of 'Agriculture and Plant Biology', 'Civil and Mining Engineering' and 'Agri-Food' [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°9 - Juin 2016
47 - les publications scientifiques de la France - Tessa Enock Levi, Françoise Laville, Chris Roth & Marie-Laure Taillibert
En 2014, toutes disciplines confondues, la France a contribué à 3,3 % des publications scientifiques mondiales. Si la recherche française présente une forte spécialisation dans la grande discipline Mathématiques et dans la discipline « Astronomie, astrophysique », c’est dans les disciplines « Agriculture, biologie végétale », « Génie civil et minier », « Écologie, biologie marine » et « Agroalimentaire » que ses publications sont les plus citées au niveau international [Consult the following page in french]


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