NSF examines plateau in US publications

US scientists' share of publications is declining in the face of competition from countries like China

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

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Nov 13, 2006
The Science Resources Statistics Division of the National Science Foundation held a workshop last week to explore why the number of US science publications in high-impact journals has plateaued. The meeting responded to the findings of a January report from the NSF's National Science Board that showed the number of US publications remained essentially flat from 1992 to 2002, leading to a drop in the US share of publications from 38% to 30%.About 35 bibliometrics researchers, economists, sociologists, information scientists, and government and university administrators met on Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C. to explore the issue. "As far as we could tell, inputs were going up, but the number of science publications was not going up correspondingly," Robert Bell, a senior analyst in the Science Resources and Statistics Division, told The Scientist. The NSF shut the meeting's doors to the media because, according to Bell, data given in several...

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